William Saliba is in a difficult situation, once again, after a call-up from the France u20 team for their match against Paris FC on September 4th.
On Thursday, the France national team announced their youth team call-ups, with Matteo Guendouzi making the u21 squad and William Saliba featuring with the u20s. This puts Saliba – in particular – in a tricky position.
The u20s are planning to play Paris FC in a behind-closed-doors friendly on September 4th at INF Clairefontaine, France. Unless Arsenal get some kind of exemption, the defender would need to quarantine for two weeks on his return.
Even in the best-case scenario where he returns to England on the 4th, Saliba couldn’t play for Arsenal until after the 18th. That’s almost a week after the Premier League season restarts.
It’s not impossible the Gunners get some kind of exemption for the trip. However, if they don’t, Saliba would need to decide between playing for the u20 national side or featuring in the opening Premier League fixtures.
The same applies to Guendouzi after his trip to Azerbaijan with the u21s, but he’s not featuring for Arsenal anyway. So you’d imagine the decision is a lot easier for him to make.
Arsenal will probably push for Saliba to withdraw from the France squad. It’s surely better for all parties if he plays competitive matches with his club rather than u20 friendlies.
It’s just a bit awkward after they also made him miss the Coupe de France final with Saint-Etienne.