Deschamps explains why Saliba is not in the starting XI for France

Didier Deschamps

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France national team coach, Didier Deschamps, has explained why Arsenal defender Williams Saliba is yet to find his way into the starting eleven of Les Bleus

22-year-old Saliba has been a guaranteed starter at Arsenal. But that is not the case with France.
Speaking ahead of France’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece, Deschamps believes that the psychological pressure resulting from the increased competition is impacting the defender

Saliba became a mainstay in Arsenal since his return from a loan spell at Olympique de Marseille in the summer of 2022. Since then, his place in the starting XI has not come under pressure, and he has started all 12 of the Gunners’ Premier League fixtures and all four of their UEFA Champions League encounters so far this season.

He remains in the starting lineup despite the arrivals of Jakub Kiwior and Jurrien Timber, who suffered an injury in his first Premier League appearance.

He pointed out that he hasn’t had a lot of game time with the national team and said he has yet to find himself in the best conditions in matches where there has been a lot of rotation.

He added that the arsenal defender has everything he needs to take the next step.

After Raphaël Varane’s retirement from international football, Saliba still finds himself in competition with Axel Disasi, Jean-Clair Todibo, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konaté, Benjamin Pavard, Jules Koundé, Benoît Badiashile, Wesley Fofana.

France have already secure a spot in Germany for the Euros. They top group B with 18 points, six points behind Netherlands and Greece, who share 12 points.

Ireland and Gibraltar complete the group with 6 and no points from six games.

Saliba could feature in these games as Deschamps is expected to rotate, as they are expected to be like friendly games for the team, having achieved their main objective.

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