‘He does things that I don’t like so much’ – Arsenal star William Saliba criticised by Didier Deschamps

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France boss Didier Deschamps has criticised Arsenal star William Saliba’s style of play.

Saliba has been held up as one of the best defenders in the Premier League over the past two seasons after breaking into the Arsenal side.

Saliba is not Deschamps' favourite centre-back at France

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Saliba is not Deschamps’ favourite centre-back at France

However, his career at international level has yet to convince some – namely France manager Deschamps.

Despite his brilliant performances for Arsenal, Saliba has been told to calm down for Les Bleus in a scathing review.

Ahead of France’s match against Chile on Tuesday, Deschamps said: “He is having a good season, but he also does things that I don’t like so much.

“For France, he has limited game time, but when he plays, that hasn’t necessarily gone well. The hierarchy doesn’t favour him at the moment, but he is here.

“[Dayot] Upamecano has had game time and perhaps William has had less.

“With certain players, I make sure to persevere, because it can be confidence or little blockages that can shift. Some don’t have any concerns, some need game time.

“William has had less game time, so that doesn’t allow him to be very calm.”

Saliba was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year last season and his late-campaign injury derailed Arsenal’s title bid.

Saliba is first-choice at Arsenal but struggles with France

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Saliba is first-choice at Arsenal but struggles with FranceCredit: AFP
Deschamps has criticised Saliba for France

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Deschamps has criticised Saliba for FranceCredit: AFP

This term, he has made 28 appearances in the Premier League and has forged a fine partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes at the back for Arteta’s side.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old has yet to make a big impression at international level with Upamecano, Jules Kounde, Benjamin Pavard and Ibrahima Konate all ahead of him.

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Since making his debut for France in March 2022, Saliba has made just six starts out of 12 caps, last playing in a 2-2 draw against Greece in November 2023.

It was at this time when Deschamps hit out at the former Saint-Etienne star, lambasting his situation at Arsenal where he alleged is a lack of competition for places.

Deschamps said in November: “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.”

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