Arsenal outcasts impress on international duty

Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba played for France in their friendly game against Nicolas Pepe’s Ivory Coast last night and they impressed their national team manager.

Both of them entered the match in the second half when the game was finely poised at 1-1 after Pepe had his opener cancelled out by former Arsenal man Olivier Giroud.

Guendouzi has been with the national team before, but Saliba was earning his first minutes for Le Blues and he did his best to ensure their opponents didn’t score while he was on the pitch in an eventual 2-1 win.

The result isn’t an unexpected one, but the Arsenal men gave a good account of themselves, which left their manager, Didier Deschamps, impressed.

Commenting on the performance of both Arsenal loanees, he said via Le10 Sport

“They are two players who are young but who have a lot of maturity. Matteo, with what he does with OM, he already has a lot of determination and desire, that doesn’t bother him. William is incredibly calm, to use a local expression. It’s something that boosts rather than hearing whistles. It’s good, I try to give them playing time to see them in relation to what awaits us for the future and each time they make sure to take advantage of these playing times.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Saliba proved again why he is such a top player and needs to be at Arsenal from next season.

His debut means he has played for the French national team before kicking a ball for the Gunners and that should give Arteta more reasons to hand him an opportunity when he returns from his loan spell at Marseille.

Tags Mattteo Guendouzi William Saliba


  1. Only a brief appearance in the 2nd half, but Deschamps thought enough to give him a chance to play.

    I think Arteta will give him a chance, but will Saliba be ok competing for starts rather than walking into the lineup at other clubs?

    I would love to see White at DM, and then we only need 1 midfielder to replace Xhaka, and a 4th CB, much cheaper than spending on 2 quality midfielders.

    My reasoning is why sit the talents of White or Saliba on the bench when there is an alternative available that might even strengthen the defense and team overall?

  2. All our so-called outcasts, especially Auba, Saliba, Torreira, Guendouzi, seem to up their game to a higher level after leaving the club. Have we lost the magic formula to get the best out of our players? Nicolas Pepe could soon be joining the outcast list too if we’re not careful.

    1. @RFrancis
      According to many on here, “The coach” was right in his decision about said players…IJS

    2. @RFrancis, Torreira and Guendouzi hardly upped their games last season. Guendouzi faced a spell out of the Hertha Berlin team due to attitude problems and Torreira didn’t play many games for AM. As for PEA, he’s just doing what he normally does after forcing a move.

  3. Saliba is the one for me the rest are pretty average.

    He is in a very strong position, a think there is something about Saliba the gaffer dosen’t like.

    The young defender should be now gentle ease into the team at the end of the season, with his contract extended an additional three years

    A can see a lot of positive things happening if the gaffer really cement that spot

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