Soccer-Defender Saliba low down in France's pecking order, says Deschamps

Credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

March 26 (Reuters) - Despite a good run this season with Premier League side Arsenal, defender William Saliba still needs to iron out some kinks in his game before he can be brought into France's starting lineup, manager Didier Deschamps said.

Saliba, 23, has started six games in 12 appearances for Les Bleus but was left on the bench during their 2-0 home defeat to Germany in a friendly on Saturday though he is expected to feature in Tuesday's friendly against Chile.

Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, and Benjamin Pavard have been given the nod ahead of Saliba in recent games, with the defenders also contending for a spot on France's Euro 2024 squad.

"Saliba is playing a good season (with Arsenal)," Deschamps told reporters on Monday. "But I see him alternating things which I like a bit less. With the French national team, he gets less playing time."

"When he has got some, it hasn't always gone well. I'm aware that I put him in a context that wasn't always easy. The current pecking order doesn't favour him, but he's there. He'll get some game time on Tuesday."

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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