Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte is all set to choose Spain and feature in the European Championship according to several sources.
The Spanish Federation has already completed the paperwork and are waiting for the final approval from FIFA. If things go as per plan then Laporte may feature in the same team with his City teammate Eric Garcia.
The 26-year-old defender was born in the south-western French town of Agen but has spent a large chunk of his youth days at Bilbao where he also started his professional career and rose to prominence. Unfortunately for Laporte despite playing in all the age group sides for France he could never break into the senior squad and hence he has decided to turn towards La Roja.
He also has Basque connections because of his grandparents and hence holds the citizenship of both France and Spain.
Laporte was always eager to represent France and whenever he was questioned he answered it in a positive manner. “I spoke with [France coach] Didier Deschamps about coming back for Les Bleus, I am trying to show that I have the qualities to make the French national team,” he said in 2020.
“Certainly, making the Euros at the end of this [season] would be the best thing.”
But even after his performances with Manchester City in the English Premier League, France national team boss Didier Deschamps has not turned towards Laporte. The World Champions are very lucky that they have a horde of excellent centre-backs in Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Adil Rami, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe and Kurt Zouma and several other youngsters to follow. Hence Laporte’s omission hardly makes any difference for them.
Deschamps has often been criticised for not picking some of the players and also playing unattractive football despite having so much talent at his disposal. The 1998 World Cup winner has been subject to a lot of criticism for the consistent snub of Laporte.
The matter extended to such an extent that the defender himself accused Deschamps of not including him in the France national team for personal reasons. To which Deschamps replied, “I do not have a problem with anyone. When I choose someone it is not for me. I repeat.
“I only have one thing to say to him and that is that he continues to perform well.”
However, now it will be very interesting to see Laporte in La Roja colours and he can even be the long term replacement of Sergio Ramos who has also reached the twilight of his career.