Arsenal's William Saliba Called-up To France U21 Squad For The First Time | AfroNaija

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Arsenal’s William Saliba called-up to France U21 squad for the first time

Arsenal’s William Saliba called-up to France U21 squad for the first time

Arsenal’s William Saliba has given further reasons for sections of the fanbase to be frustrated today, with the French youngster receiving his first conscription notice for France’s U21 squad ahead of their Euro 2023 qualifying fixtures in September.

Saliba is joined by other familiar names such as Amine Gouiri (OGC Nice), Eduardo Camavinga (Stade Rennais), Maxence Caqueret (Olympique Lyonnais), Sofiane Diop & Benoît Badiashile (AS Monaco), and Illan Meslier (Leeds United).

The Bondy-native and AS Saint-Étienne youth graduate has long been looked upon as a star in the making for his country after breaking into ASSE’s first-team back in 2018-19, which prompted his move to Arsenal under then-manager Unai Emery, so the news comes with little shock that his progression remains on track while he plies his trade at the Stade Vélodrome.

Arsenal have yet to benefit from the purchase of Saliba

Despite Arsenal splashing £26million to bring Saliba to north London, the defensive prodigy has yet to make a single appearance for the club in three seasons. Instead, two loan spells have taken place, with a strong stint at OGC Nice last season being followed up by a fantastic start at Olympique de Marseille in the current campaign.

William Saliba earns first call-up to France’s U21 squad on back of loan form

Nice’s French defender William Saliba (L) is challenged by Metz’s French forward Thierry Ambrose during the French L1 football match between Football Club de Metz and OGC Nice at the Saint-Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-Les-Metz, eastern France on January 9, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Once labeled as a “savior” for the club’s long-term prospects of once again challenging for the Premier League, there have been far more questions than answers after the regime change that saw both Unai Emery and Raúl Sanllehí ousted and replaced with Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar.

Since said change, Saliba’s status at the club has gone from immediately hopeful to a fringe youngster who has been deemed not good enough by management. Arsenal’s £50million purchase of Ben White this summer only seemed to confirm the notion that Saliba as yet to impress either Arteta or Edu but under the guidance of Jorge Sampaoli, his performances have been justly rewarded while plying his trade for a club of immense stature inside France while maintaining credibility outside of Gallic borders.

With Arsenal’s Premier League campaign hardly taking off without a hitch this season in a 2021-22 campaign that could once again end in frustration, should Saliba keep performing on the south coast of France, many will continue to wonder what more does he have to do to guarantee his future at the Emirates…if he even wants one at all.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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