William Saliba set to miss much of Arsenal preseason after France Olympic squad call-up

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal defender William Saliba is set to miss much of the club’s preseason after being included in the France squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The 20-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Gunners, having spent the second-half of last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice.

The centre-back was signed under Unai Emery in the summer of 2019 and immediately loaned back to French club Saint-Etienne, before joining up with his Arsenal teammates last summer, but he was unable to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s immediate plans.

His involvement in Arsenal’s preseason is now set to be limited, with the football tournament at the Games starting on July 21 and the final taking place on August 7.

Arsenal, meanwhile, play their first preseason game on July 13, against Hibernian, and start their Premier League campaign away to Brentford on August 13.

Clubs are not obliged to release players for the Olympics by Fifa and, indeed, Liverpool chose not to allow new centre-back signing Ibrahima Konate to join up with the France squad.

However, Arsenal have given Saliba the green light and Arteta will now be without both him and fellow defender Gabriel, who is in the Brazil squad, for the build-up to the new season.

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