William Saliba has been called up to the France senior squad for the first time, replacing Benjamin Pavard, who had to withdraw.
Pavard was initially selected for the squad, but he tested positive for Covid-19 in the build-up to the break. He went into self-isolation and subsequently isn’t available for France’s fixtures.
In his place, Arsenal loanee Saliba is set to get his first opportunity. The defender had originally been called up to the France u21s once again.
Saliba has had a strong loan spell playing regular football with Marseille, and it was probably just his age and inexperience that prevented him from getting a senior France call-up to begin with.
Departing Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is also in the France squad, so Didier Deschamps has clearly been paying attention to Marseille’s fortunes as they fight at the top end of the Ligue 1 table.
Football.London report that they understand Saliba would prefer to prove himself with Arsenal than join Marseille on a permanent deal this summer.
Arsenal will review Saliba’s situation at the end of the season, as well as holding preliminary talks over a new contract towards the end of his loan spell.