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William Gallas insists Arsenal centre-back William Saliba is not consistent enough to be a starter for France

Former Arsenal defender William Gallas believes that the reason William Saliba is not a starter for France is because he is inconsistent.

The Gunners centre-back has been a key player for the North Londoners since last term, with his unavailability due to injury leading to their collapse in the title race towards the end of 2022-23.

Saliba has been fit all season, playing every minute of all their 32 league games so far, and Arsenal are challenging for the title again due to his brilliance and solid partnership with Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.

Despite his heroics at club level, the Gunners star has not been very convincing at international level, and Gallas claims in a recent interview (quotes via GFFN) that while Saliba would probably walk into the starting XI of other national teams with ease, the case is different with Les Bleus.

“France have so many talented young centre-backs,” the former Arsenal captain said.

“It’s always the same question, though, and that is which one is going to be consistent? Which ones are going to be the starters?

“Unfortunately, it’s difficult for William Saliba to be in the starting XI because you have Ibrahima Konaté from Liverpool and Dayot Upamecano from Bayern, and sometimes Saliba can be magnificent, but sometimes he can be a disaster as he’s not consistent.

“That’s why it’s a big problem for Didier Deschamps to know exactly who is going to be the number one, or the partnership at centre-back! For every other country, Saliba would probably walk into the XI with ease, but with France, it’s different and that is very tough for him – especially as they have been so successful in recent years. We have some great young centre-backs in the French team, that’s for sure.”

Saliba is as brilliant as they come and is one of the best defenders in the English top-flight, but the coaches of the French national team need him to do more anytime he puts on the blue shirt to fully convince them.

Clearly, the pressure gets to the Arsenal star anytime he is on international duty as he is always desperate to impress and ensure he can win a place in such a star-studded team.

At 23, he has not gained enough experience to master pressure and he will only continue to get better and improve.

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