Arsenal defender William Saliba will MISS club's pre-season after being named in France's Olympic squad
WILLIAM SALIBA will MISS Arsenal's pre-season this summer.
The defender, 20, will instead be on international duty, after being called up to France's 18-man squad for the Olympics in Japan.
Les Bleus will kick off their campaign at Tokyo Stadium on July 22.
And should they be successful, they will play the final at Yokohama Stadium on August 7.
This means that Saliba may still be playing at the Olympics just SIX days before Arsenal get their Premier League campaign underway against Brentford.
The call-up will be an honour for Saliba, but is the latest blow for an Arsenal career that has never really got going.
He joined the North Londoners in 2019, before spending a season on loan back at Saint-Etienne.
Much was expected ahead of last season, when he returned to Arsenal for the beginning of the campaign.
But he was never handed a chance by Mikel Arteta, being limited to Under-23s games in the PL2 and EFL Trophy.
Saliba left to join Nice on loan in January, making 22 appearances during a successful stint.
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While his Arsenal career is up in the air, he possesses a good a good chance of winning a medal in Japan this summer.
France's squad includes 36-cap striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, as well as World Cup winner Florian Thauvin – both included among their three eligible over-24 players.
Wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is in the squad, as well as highly-rated stars Jonathan Ikone and Benoit Badiashile.
Montpellier midfielder Teji Savanier is the third over-24 player included.
One player to miss out, however, was Kylian Mbappe.
The 22-year-old had told TF1 last month: "For us, having recognition from the whole country is very important.
"Everyone knows that my dream has always been to take part at the Olympic Games and I hope I will be able to realise one of my lifelong dreams."
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