France boss Didier Deschamps gives AC Milan keeper green light for Dublin date and demands full focus on Euro tests

France's Mike Maignan will face Ireland in Dublin REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Didier Deschamps has confirmed that AC Milan player Mike Maignan will take over from Hugo Lloris as first-choice keeper for France and start in their Euro 2024 games against Holland and Ireland.

But the France coach has told his players to forget about their World Cup final defeat to Argentina and focus on the tests against Ireland and Holland and insist they can’t take for granted Euro 2024 qualification.

Deschamps assembled his squad at their base outside Paris on Monday, the first time the group were reunited since their loss to Argentina in Qatar in December.

His squad has seen some changes due to injury and retirement, with veteran Lloris stepping down from the national team after a lengthy spell.

The French boss says he has yet to confirm who will be named as his new captain but he’s picked Maignan as the one from his three keepers to play in goal.

“The number 1 position will be Mike Maignan," he said. “There will be a hierarchy, it is important that we have that. Will it be the same in June? I don't know. I will have a discussion with the three goalkeepers (Maignan, Alphonse Areola, Brice Samba) but for certainty, Mike will have the responsibility to be our number one.”

He said the first day’s training was a matter of his players settling in with a steely focus on the two qualifiers, with Holland visiting Paris on Friday before their Dublin date on Monday.

"We will quickly switch to Friday to get to the heart of the matter and focus fully on this qualifying phase," he says.

"The Netherlands have a lot of quality. It will be necessary to be efficient from the start and then continue against Ireland, we have two high-level matches in the program.

"You have to be obsessed with this goal for the campaign. We must not think that we are already qualified."

Asked at a press conference to reflect on that loss to Argentina in Qatar, he was keen to move on.

“I'm sorry, what interests me is in front of us. The taste of the final, the defeat, that belongs to the past, I don't want to waste time on these topics,” he added.

Kylian Mbappe is expected to take over captaincy in place of the retired Lloris but Deschamps says he will delay announcing his decision until Thursday.