Manchester United may face an anxious wait over the fitness of Anthony Martial after the forward suffered an injury during France’s clash with Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Martial looked in considerable pain after appearing to jar his knee when his studs got caught in the artificial surface at the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan midway through the second half.
He eventually got to his feet and left the field for treatment before returning moments later, but was seen moving gingerly around the pitch.
France boss Didier Deschamps quickly took the decision to replace Martial as he could not continue, sending on Kylian Mbappe in his place.
Martial limped off when he was substituted but had only struck a free-kick moments earlier, which suggests the injury might not be as bad as first feared.
France still have one more match to play over the international break – an away trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.
It remains to be seen whether Martial is fit to play any part in that Group D fixture, but United will be hopeful of having their No.9 back in time for next Sunday’s clash with Brighton at Old Trafford.
Martial had been selected as the lone striker for France, who were 2-0 up at the break thanks to an opening goal fro Ousmane Dembele, before Serhiy Malyi’s own goal on the stroke of half-time.
Paul Pogba also started the match but was replaced before the hour along with Martial in a triple change by Deschamps.
The midfielder’s substitution was not really a surprise though, given his manager had commented on his current condition before the match, in light of Pogba’s recent injury return and 30-minute cameo off the bench in Wednesday’s draw with Ukraine.
“He [Pogba] is not at his best, obviously,” Deschamps said. “On his entry against Ukraine, it also coincided with a period where the French team was not playing well. These 30 minutes are good for him. Like any player who returns from an injury, it will take time.
“The situation in November, he came with little playing time, it did not prevent him from making a great game against Portugal. He needs game time to perfect his physical condition.”