The 2018 World Cup in Russia is around the corner, with national team coaches having released their 23-man squads for the tournament.
Some managers had a provisional list of names that featured back-up players who would go on to be cut when the squad was trimmed to 23. There have been some high-profile omissions this summer that have come as a surprise.
We look at the top ten Premier League players who have been snubbed for the World Cup.
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE (ARSENAL, FRANCE)
It comes with some irony that Alexandre Lacazette lost his place in the France squad to Olivier Giroud – the man he was signed to replace at Arsenal.
Lacazette was one of the deadliest strikers in Ligue 1 before moving to Arsenal last summer, but he struggled for consistency as the Gunners greatly underperformed – finishing sixth in the Premier League.
It’s lead to head coach Didier Deschamps opting for Giroud over him in the final 23-man squad.
CESC FABREGAS (CHELSEA, SPAIN)
Cesc Fabregas has not featured for Spain since EURO 2016 when Julen Lopetegui took over as head coach of the national team.
Fabregas already has 110 caps for Spain, but the country’s failure in the Euros led to an overhaul of the squad.
The 31-year-old doesn’t seem to be part of Lopetegui’s future plans and will be 35 years by the next World Cup in 2022.
Chances of the playmaker featuring for Spain again are slim.
ALVARO MORATA (CHELSEA, SPAIN)
The 25-year-old arrived at Chelsea from Real Madrid last summer with high expectations, but he struggled for form which saw him lose his starting place Olivier Giroud after January.
Morata scored six goals for Spain during their World Cup qualification campaign, but his current form is not enough to earn him for a place in the national team.
JUAN MATA (MAN UNITED, SPAIN)
Mata was in decent form for Manchester United last season, making 41 appearances and contributing 10 goals, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a place in the Span squad.
MARCOS ALONSO (CHELSEA, SPAIN)
Alonso is another Chelsea player snubbed by Lopetegui, even despite being named in the Premier League Team of the Year.
He made 46 appearances for the Blues last season and scored eight goals. It appears, however, that the Spain coach has better options at left-back – Jordi Alba (Barcelona) etc.
ANDER HERRERA (MAN UNITED, SPAIN)
Herrera has been one of the better midfielders for Manchester United in the last two seasons, but he’s been unable to convince Lopetegui to select him ahead of the likes of David Silva, Sergio Busquets, Isco, Saul Niguel, Andres Iniesta, Thiago Alcantara and Koke.
He’s an energetic and combative player, but ultimately lacks the craft and creativity those ahead of him possess in abundance.
PEDRO RODRIGUEZ (CHELSEA, SPAIN)
Chelsea players have made up the majority of this list and another big name not going to the World Cup is Pedro Rodriguez.
The former Barcelona man scored only seven goals and made four assists last season, while also struggling for regular first-team football, so Lopetegui overlooking him is hardly a surprise.
ANTHONY MARTIAL (MAN UNITED, FRANCE)
The 22-year-old missed out largely due to his lack of playing time at Manchester United.
He made just 26 appearances in all competitions last season, and the arrival of Alexis Sanchez saw him spend more time on the bench.
Manager Jose Mourinho has been blamed by fans as the cause for Martial’s omission from the French squad.
HECTOR BELLERIN (ARSENAL, SPAIN)
Even though he made 47 appearances for the Gunners last season, Hector Bellerin couldn’t make the Spanish squad for the World Cup.
He did not play any part in Spain’s World Cup qualifying campaign and his club performances were not satisfactory enough for Lopetegui to include him.
TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO (CHELSEA, FRANCE)
Bakayoko is another Chelsea player snubbed, this time by France national coach Didier Deschamps.
Signed from AS Monaco last summer to form a formidable partnership with compatriot N’Golo Kante in the midfield, Bakayoko failed to live up to expectations.
His omission in the France squad isn’t much of a surprise.