London, November 13: Tiemoue Bakayoko insists he is not inferior to his rivals in France's midfield and is determined to secure a place at the World Cup.
The 23-year-old Chelsea man was left out of Didier Deschamps' squad for the November friendly matches against Wales and Germany, having also been omitted for the final World Cup qualifiers in October.
Blaise Matuidi, Adrien Rabiot, N'Golo Kante, Moussa Sissoko, Corentin Tolisso and the previously uncapped Steven N'Zonzi have been preferred to Bakayoko this season, and the depth of Deschamps' options has placed the player's prospects of going to next year's World Cup finals into doubt.
However, the former Monaco star is determined to win his place back before the tournament in Russia and hopes playing for the Premier League champions will help his cause.
"I'm disappointed," he told Canal Football Club when asked about being left out. "I believe in this World Cup, it's still my goal. I play for a big club; I think that can work in my favour.
"I feel Rabiot, Kante, Matuidi, Tolisso are not better than me. I respect the coach's decision and I also respect the players who were called up: they are talented, some are friends of mine.
"I'm proud that they were called up. I'd like to be with them. But I'm not below them."
France meet Germany in their last friendly match of 2017 on Tuesday.