Impressive Arsenal debutant Samir Nasri has been called up to the France squad set to face Sweden after Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa pulled out due to injury.
The 21-year-old former Marseille star scored his first Gunners’ goal against West Brom on Saturday and will be hoping to carry his club form onto country.
Ben Arfa, who was signed by L’OM as a replacement for Nasri, said.
“Physically I’m tired, three matches in a week, it’s not easy with a return like that. As well I hurt my adductors,” said Ben Arfa after helping his side to a 4-0 win over Auxerre in French league action on Sunday.
Nasri’s Arsenal teammates Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy have also been selected after failing to make Raymond Domenech’s squad for Euro2008.
France squad to face Sweden:
Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon)
Defenders: Jean-Alain Boumsong (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), William Gallas (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Philippe Mexes (AS Rome), Gael Clichy (Arsenal)
Midfielder: Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Sidney Govou (Lyon)
Strikers: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Karim Benzema (Lyon)
In other news, defenders Håvard Nordtveit and Pedro Botelho have been sent on loan to Spanish Segunda side UD Salamanca.
Norweigan centre-back Nordtveit joined Arsenal last summer from FK Haugesund and was made Reserve team captain, but despite showing early promise, much of his campaign was blighted by injury.
Håvard will join fellow Arsenal loanee Pedro Botelho at the Spanish club and is likely to make his competitive debut for Salamanca in the first league game of the season, at home to Alaves on August 31st.
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