Arsenal defender William Saliba became notorious last season during his loan spell at Marseille. He joined Arsenal from his boyhood club, Saint Etienne, three years ago at age 19. Unable to break into the first team, he was returned to Saint Etienne as a loan player, after the season ended he had another loan spell with Nice, then last season with Marseille where he caught the interest of France National team coach Didier Deschamps.
Deschamp picked William Saliba over Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool during their Euros campaign. Deschamp clarifies the reasons why he preferred the Arsenal defender over Konate who played in the final of the Uefa Champions League the same month.
“Yes, I’m following him, he’s in a team which is competing in the Champions League final and for the title in England. But since he’s been at Liverpool, he’s mostly played in a four-man defence. And there is competition [in the France team].”
“I brought William [Saliba] last time and he always plays in a back three. It’s either one or the other, it’s very competitive, and that’s very good – it allows for the veterans to not get too comfortable.”
Didier Deschamp said Saliba was favoured over the Liverpool defender because Saliba has been used at Marseille in their formation style.
Last night Arsenal began their campaign in the 2022-23 EPL season with a 0-2 victory over Crystal Palace.
Here is William Saliba’s accomplishment from last year.
Saliba made his first appearance for Arsenal for the first time since joining the club three years ago.
He played the whole 90 minutes bagging the man of the match award.
He earned his first call-up to the French National team this year.
He led the way with clearances (seven), won three of four duels, and won possession seven times (only Thomas Partey had more with eight).
William completed 46 out of 49 passes (94 per cent) – higher than anyone else on the team.
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