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Arsenal star William Saliba criticised by France boss Didier Deschamps who says defender isn’t ‘calm enough’

WILLIAM SALIBA has been criticised for his performances in a France shirt, and told to be “calm” if he is to win a starting spot ahead of the Euros.

The 23-year-old has cemented himself as one of the most talented defenders in Europe after breaking into Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal plans since the summer of 2022.

William Saliba has received criticism from France boss Didier Deschamps

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William Saliba has received criticism from France boss Didier DeschampsCredit: Getty
Deschamps said it 'hasn't gone well' when Saliba has played for the national team

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Deschamps said it ‘hasn’t gone well’ when Saliba has played for the national teamCredit: AFP

Saliba was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year last season as the Gunners came close to lifting the title – forging a fine centre back partnership with Gabriel.

However, his displays for his country have been deemed not good enough by boss Didier Deschamps, who gave Saliba his first senior call-up back in March 2022 followed by 12 career caps so far – six of those as a starter.

Last November, Deschamps noted that the lack of competition in defence at the Emirates has damaged Saliba psychologically and impacted his development.

In contrast, Saliba is competing for a starting spot for his country against the likes of Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard, Jules Kounde and Ibrahima Konate.

And despite Saliba’s continued meteoric rise, Deschamps remains unconvinced.

Ahead of France’s friendly clash with Chile on Tuesday, the France boss explained: “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.

“Upamecano has had game time and perhaps William has had less.

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“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.”

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This season for Arsenal, Saliba has made 28 Prem appearances, scoring twice and maintaining the best defence in the division so far with just 24 conceded.

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