Arsenal News: Marseille defender William Saliba made his debut for France yesterday. The defender who is currently on loan from Arsenal was called up on the back of a terrific season with Marseille.
France played out a dramatic game against Ivory Coast on Friday. Le Blues won the game 2-1 dramatically but the headlines were dominated by the current and former Arsenal players!
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe opened the scoring for Ivory Coast in the first half. But AC Milan striker and former Arsenal star Olivier Giroud was quick to level the friendly at 1-1 before halftime.
William Saliba, the Arsenal loanee at Marseille made his debut for the French team in the second half and put on a decent performance. Whereas Matteo Guendouzi, another Arsenal loanee provided the assist to Tchouameni’s winning goal at the 90+3 minute.
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As stated earlier, the headlines in the friendly game between Ivory Coast and France were dominated by current and past Arsenal players. But none would be as happy as William Saliba who made his debut.
The 21-year old defender was signed by Arsenal in 2019. The Gunners had reportedly paid £27 million to sign the defender on a 5-year contract from Saint-Etienne. Arsenal signed him amidst heavy competition from Tottenham Hotspur.
William Saliba has since played for the Arsenal youth team. But the defender has not played a single game for the senior squad. Rather, the Gunners have sent him out on loan to Saint-Etienne, Nice, and Marseille in the past three seasons.
The defender’s current loan spell at Marseille has been quite decent. Saliba has made 40 appearances for the French club this season. Out of this, he has played 28 out of the 29 Ligue 1 games for Olympique Marseille so far in the 2021/22 season.
Marseille are currently placed second in the Ligue 1 table. And courtesy of William Saliba’s performances, he also got a well-deserved debut for the French national team.
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In a recent interview, William Saliba said “I’ve never hidden the fact that I feel good at Marseille. I don’t know what my future holds, there are still two months to go. The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and go as far as possible in the Conference League.”
Arsenal currently have a good center-back pairing of Ben White and Gabriel. But adding William Saliba to the mix would certainly give the Gunners much-needed depth. To add to this, William Saliba would also fit Mikel Arteta’s criteria of a young and upcoming player.
But if Arsenal were to sell him, Saliba’s international appearance would now add weight to the transfer fee. Hence it has to be seen where the future lies for the defender next season.
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