Didier Deschamps heaps praise on France’s defensive duo

France head coach Didier Deschamps has lavished praised on Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez after the pair played fundamental roles during Les Bleus’ World Cup triumph. Neither Pavard nor Hernandez were guaranteed of a starting role in the lead up to the global tournament but they managed to excel after being backed by Deschamps.

Speaking to Kicker, the France boss acknowledged that the duo were able to stabilise the defence from the full-back positions and reserved special praise for Stuttgart’s Pavard, he said: “Despite their former status and some inexperience at this level, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas [Hernandez] were brilliant and stabilised the defence.

“These two fighters made a big difference. Benjamin has become a star and he deserves it. He’s not so media-focused. He’s very friendly, appreciated by his teammates, and has an incredible amount of self-confidence.He once said to me: ‘I’m not afraid of anyone!’ So I told him: ‘You can think that, but never say it to the media.’”

Since the conclusion of the World Cup, Pavard has been linked with several high profile clubs with Bayern Munich presently said to be leading the race. Joshua Kimmich has done magnificently well for the German champions in the right-back spot but new manager Niko Kovac may consider playing him further up the field, should Pavard make the switch to the Allianz Arena.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with a possible approach for the Stuttgart defender but strengthening the right-back position may not seem a priority with Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters capable of slotting into the role. Spurs have yet to make a signing during the ongoing transfer window but things are expected to change in the coming weeks with the focus lying on adding more depth to the attack ahead of 2018/19 campaign.