PSG players hoping to feature heavily for France

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Five of Paris Saint-Germain's stars are set to be involved in France's international double-header with Japan and Spain. Joining the established quartet of Mamadou Sakho, Christophe Jallet, Blaise Matuidi and Jeremy Menez is stalwart Clement Chantome who has been making steady progress this season.

Clement ChantomeGettyImagesPSG midfielder Clement Chantome has earned call-up

The combative midfielder received a late call-up to the squad as a replacement for Lassana Diarra, who withdrew through injury, but the Les Bleus' camp in Clairefontaine is now becoming a home away from home for PSG's domestic talent. Didier Deschamps' latest squad possess five players from the capital club and their familiarity is something that makes it easier for a new arrival like Chantome to fit in.

Speaking to the press, Chantome said: "For my first training session with the national team, I found it better to be surrounded by guys who I see daily. I know several of the other guys from the Under-21 selections too, so I didn't feel overwhelmed when I arrived.

"I've now had two training sessions, but only one really with the squad. I can't really compare it with PSG, but I would say it is pretty similar. Ninety percent of the players at PSG are internationals and the training is of the same standard."

Chantome could have left the Parc des Princes this summer but was persuaded to stay by Carlo Ancelotti who has now made him an integral part of the team. Under previous manager Antoine Kombouare, Chantome's stock had steadily risen, but once Ancelotti arrived in Paris last year a variety of injuries kept him out of the squad for the majority of the campaign.

"It's a nice reward to get called up," he added. "I'm going to try and show my qualities and hopefully get some time on the pitch. I was faced with a tough choice in the summer. There was a club that really wanted me. But I had a chat with Carlo Ancelotti and he told me that he was relying on me. I think that he's shown in his selections since the start of the season."

Chantome has started five of Les Parisiens' matches so far this season as well as both of the club's Champions League encounters, testament to his growing importance to the side. This he puts down to the important changes the Italian coach has made to his style of play since taking over.

"Thanks to coach Ancelotti, it is my tactical discipline that has improved the most," he said. "Before, my main flaw was not being defensive enough. He told me that. A midfielder has to be able to score goals, and right now that's not the case. Sometimes I don't go forward enough, and other times I go forward too quickly. That's something I'm working on."

Alongside Chantome in the squad is Blaise Matuidi, one of the other vital cogs in a well-oiled PSG midfield trio including Marco Verratti. So far this season the pair have been in excellent form and their partnership domestically could benefit Les Bleus on the international stage in the future.

Elsewhere, Mamadou Sakho was expected to start alongside Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny in defence against Japan before taking on Spain in Group I's crunch World Cup qualifier. However, Koscielny's knee injury - suffered on Wednesday - could see Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa partner Sakho yet again in Paris. Otherwise captain Christophe Jallet is expected to start against Japan as part of an experimental line-up with Menez also in line to play from the start.

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