Home » Habib Diarra picks Senegal ahead of France

Habib Diarra picks Senegal ahead of France

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Habib Diarra was in the plans of France’s U-20s national team but has opted to play for his fatherland Senegal
  • Diarra will be in camp with the Teranga Lions this March for games against Gabon and Benin

France-based Habib Diarra Mahamadou has opted to play for his native Senegal over representing France that had a strong interest in his services.

Though coach Thierry Henry didn’t name him in France’s summer Olympics squad, the 20-year-old Strasbourg winger had received offers for a call up this March from France’s U-20s and Aliou Cisse of the Teranga Lions but opted to follow his roots.

“A boy like Habib Diarra, he will be there. He’s a boy full of qualities. I did everything to bring him back to the national team because he played with the France youth teams. Today, in reality, his place is at home. He was born in Guédiawaye. Its place is in Senegal,” Aliou told the media.

The decision means like his father Samba, Habib will play for the West African nation beginning with the friendlies against Gabon on March 22 and against Benin four days later at the Licorne stadium in Amiens.

This choice to represent Senegal ends coach Cisse’s long chase of the exciting forward who has been a first pick this season at Strasbourg.

Diarra is an amazing talent and very attractive in the transfer market. Aston Villa and Wolves are the latest teams to have their names added to the list of his suitors – a list which supposedly includes both Leeds United, Leicester City, Spurs, West Ham United, Crystal Palace and both Manchester clubs. And that’s just the English clubs who are keen, although Diarra has said publicly that he “dreams” of the Premier League.

There is set to be a serious bidding war for his services this summer, and whoever wins the race will have landed a very promising young player indeed.

In the meantime, he is just about starting his full international football career with the 2021 AFCON champions.

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