France boss Didier Deschamps has spoken about the issue with William Saliba, explaining why he has not been involved in many Les Bleus.
Saliba moved from Saint-Etienne to the Emirates in 2019 for a reported £27 million but was loaned back to his previous team.
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Marcel Desailly has picked Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate over Arsenal defender William Saliba, insisting the Arsenal centre-back's individual qualities are just above average compared to the Reds centre-back.
He has been a key member of Mikel Arteta’s team since returning to the Arsenal team from several loan spells.
The French international has been considered the best defender of his generation after having an impressive season with the Gunners.
Deschamps explains Saliba’s issue
Saliba helped Arsenal launch an outstanding title fight against Manchester City, which ultimately ended in defeat and has continued even more spectacular this season with his performances.
His last season’s performance earned him ten caps for France, after making his debut in 2022 and also earning a slot in France's World Cup team.
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Kylian Mbappe is reportedly the top target for Chelsea next summer when he is expected to be a free agent.
However, Saliba has found it difficult to establish himself in France's starting lineup despite Raphael Varane's departure from Les Bleus.
Deschamps clarified that the star has different competition for a spot at Arsenal than he does for his nation.
He said as reported by the Sun, “He hasn’t had a lot of game time with us. He is performing well for his club.
“At international level, he hasn’t always found himself in the best conditions in matches where I’ve rotated a lot.
“He isn’t in the same psychological situation with his club, where he doesn’t ask himself if he’ll play at the weekend.
“When he has game time with us, he tells himself he needs to play well because there are others behind him.
“He is not in a psychological situation that is the same as at his club. He has everything he needs to take the next step.”
Saliba is expected to battle the likes of Dayot Upamecano, Jules Kounde, Jean Clair-Todibo, Benjamin Pavard and Ibrahima Konate for the defensive position when they face Gibraltar on Saturday.