William Saliba has been called up to the France senior squad for the first time, replacing Benjamin Pavard, who had to withdraw.

Marseille's French defender William Saliba (C) and teammates celebrate at the end of the French L1 football match between Bordeaux and Marseille on January 7, 2022. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s French defender William Saliba (C) and teammates celebrate at the end of the French L1 football match between Bordeaux and Marseille on January 7, 2022. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The French national team confirmed on Monday morning that William Saliba has been called up to the senior side for the first time, replacing the withdrawing Benjamin Pavard.

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.

joie - Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille - William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne - Ligue 1 Uber Eats - Marseille - 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC
joie – Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille – William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Marseille – 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC

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.

Previous articleMikel Arteta responds to the fans’ new song for him
Next articleEarn money with your hobby thanks to sports betting
Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.