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Didier Deschamps gives bizarre reasons over regular William Saliba’s snub

The French manager said Saliba hasn't played due to the team's hierarchy

Didier Deschamps, the coach of the French national football team, has recently defended his decision to limit Arsenal star William Saliba's game time. Despite Saliba's impressive performance at club level, he has been used sparingly in the national team.

William Saliba, a 23-year-old centre-back player for Arsenal, has been instrumental in the Gunners’ exceptional form over the past two seasons. He formed an unyielding partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes that contributed significantly to Arsenal's defensive prowess.

Saliba was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year last season due to his outstanding performances. Furthermore, Arsenal conceded only 24 goals in their current campaign – a testament to their best defensive record in the division.

Deschamps hasn't given Saliba enough chances to prove

Despite his stellar club-level performance, Saliba’s efforts have not earned him a regular spot on France’s back-line. He finds himself behind Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Benjamin Pavard in terms of selection preference for centre-back positions.

In France’s recent 2-0 defeat in the Germany match on Saturday, he remained an unused substitute. In fact, he has started just two out of France's last 18 games.

Eight out of his twelve caps were earned back in 2022 following a loan season at Marseille; however his commendable form with Arsenal hasn't translated into more opportunities with Les Bleus (the French national team).

William Saliba does things that Didier Deschamps dislikes

Deschamps justified limiting Saliba’s minutes by pointing out areas where he believes improvement is needed within his game play style - aspects that 'he does not like'. He also emphasized the importance of respecting the established centre-back hierarchy within the team.

Didier Deschamps, Manager of France National Team, 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 is expected to play against Chile on Tuesday in a rotated line-up. Despite his limited game time, he is still anticipated to be part of France squad for this summer’s Euros. However, it seems likely that he will be watching from the sidelines as Deschamps continues to favour other centre-backs with more international and European experience.

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