Date:21st September 2022 at 7:00am
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Arsenal defender William Saliba says he hopes to be at the World Cup following his latest performance in the Gunners’ shirt.

THE LOWDOWN:  IMPORTANT FIGURE

William Saliba has seen his Arsenal career receive an enormous turnaround this campaign. Despite joining the Gunners almost three years ago, it was just this season he got the chance to make his mark after a successful loan spell at Marseille last season.

After making his debut against Crystal Palace last month where he was named man-of-the-match, Saliba has gone on to score his first Arsenal goal, become a regular member of the Arsenal squad, and has started every league game this season before scoring his second goal of the season against Brentford at the weekend.

THE LATEST: EYEING QATAR

William Saliba says he is hoping to be at the World Cup with France later this November.

The Frenchman is in line for the sixth cap for France after he was called up for the Nations League matches against Austria and Denmark this month.

“When you represent your country it’s amazing,” Saliba told Sky Sports Super Sunday Matchday.

“My dream is to play in the World Cup with my country and I hope I will be in the team for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, after watching Saliba score a fine goal against his side at the weekend and has been backed by Brentford manager Thomas Frank to become a starting defender for France.

“I must say Saliba, ooft! He’s going to be a full international player for France, I’m sure,” Frank said in his post-match press conference. “He’ll play in the starting line-up soon for that national team and that’s a strong national team.”

Competition for a starting shirt in the national team for Saliba comes from the likes of Manchester United defender Raphael Varane, Barcelona’s Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano of Bayern Munich and Monaco’s uncapped Benoit Badiashile. Others include Clement Lenglet, Kurt Zouma, Presnel Kimpembe and Ibrahima Konate, who all have also been called up by Les Bleus in recent months.

THE VERDICT: GOOD AMBITION

It is good to see Saliba harbour this huge ambition. He is playing at an interesting level at the moment and no one can fault his desire to be at the World Cup in Qatar. He is playing his best football at the moment in the biggest league in the world, so has every chance to be there if he keeps it up.