Ian Wright baffled after Arsenal star at Euro 2024 given reality check by his own manager – Football News

Ian Wright baffled after Arsenal star at Euro 2024 given reality check by his own manager

Ian Wright was not impressed with Didier Deschamps’ comments on William Saliba (Image: Getty)

Ian Wright is at a loss to explain Didier Deschamps’ comments towards Arsenal defender William Saliba. France manager Deschamps publicly stated ahead of Euro 2024 that there are elements of Saliba’s game that he ‘does not like’, despite his sparkling form at club level.

Saliba is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. At only 23 years old, the Frenchman was in the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence for close-run title challenges in two consecutive seasons.

While he is one of the golden boys in north London, he hasn’t always been given the same treatment on the international stage. The likes of Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard and Ibrahima Konate have made France minutes hard to come by for Saliba.

Attempting to explain Saliba’s standing in the squad back in March, Deschamps said: “He does things I don’t like.” And those comments didn’t sit well with Arsenal legend Wright.

Speaking ahead of France’s 1-0 win over Austria on Monday evening, the former Gunners forward told ITV: “I couldn’t understand why he said that. Simply because, the way France play, they play that mid-block. They don’t want William Saliba and what he does for Arsenal.

“He progresses the ball and he passes the ball. He gets the ball going for them. He is there for his one-on-one play.

Austria v France: Group D - UEFA EURO 2024

William Saliba started against Austria as he was ‘more ready’ than Ibrahima Konate (Image: Getty)

“I was thinking it was really strange to hear him say that he can’t see something with him, because he does that and he has the capability to deal with a one-v-one situation, which France play like. I would like to think he has had a word with him. Just to come out publicly and say that when he is playing well for Arsenal…”

Eyebrows were raised on Monday when Deschamps opted to play Saliba alongside Upamecano despite his prior admission about the Arsenal man. After the game, Deschamps clarified: “If I played Saliba, it’s because I thought he was more ready than Konate for such a match.”

It remains to be seen whether Saliba did enough to keep his place for upcoming group games against Holland and Poland. France are one of the favourites to go all the way in Germany after making it to the World Cup final in Qatar 18 months ago.

But they may have to complete the group stages without their main attacking threat and talisman, Kylian Mbappe. The new Real Madrid signing broke his nose against Austria as a gruesome challenge with Kevin Danso left his shirt covered in blood.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1912770/arsenal-news-ian-wright-euro-2024-william-saliba