Arsenal star William Saliba in line to start for France as Raphael Varane misses training
Posted by  badge Boss on a week ago
William Saliba is set to start for France at the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

William Saliba is set to enhance his burgeoning reputation at the and is in line to start for the defending champions in their first game of the tournament on Tuesday against Australia.

The Arsenal defender has been one of the outstanding performers in the Premier League this season, cementing his place at the heart of a Gunners defence that has underpinned the team’s ascent to the top of the table.

Saliba has already been capped seven times at senior level by France and now looks set to enhance his burgeoning reputation in given the ongoing concerns around the fitness of ’s .

The former Real Madrid centre-half was named in Didier Deschamps’ 26-man squad despite nagging doubts about his fitness.

Varane hasn’t featured for United in just over a month when he left the Stamford Bridge pitch in tears, nursing a hamstring injury that looked to have put paid to his hopes of appearing at the World Cup.

The 29-year-old, according to L’Equipe, missed training on Friday and is unlikely to feature against the Socceroos.

While Arsenal will no doubt be delighted that their own promotion of Saliba, who had to wait three years to make his club debut following his signing from Saint Etienne, they will no doubt be mindful of his value spiraling in tandem with his contract nearing its expiration.

Raphael Varane hasn’t played for Manchester United since suffering a hamstring injury a month ago (Picture: Getty)

World Cup 2022: your FAQs answered

Read the latest World Cup news on .

Saliba has 18 months left on his current deal and the man charged with overseeing negotiations over an extension, Edu, was promoted to the role of Sporting Director on Friday.

Reacting to his change of role, the former Brazil international said: ‘I’m delighted to have this new role which I see as an evolution and consolidation of the way we’ve been working. We are making good progress in all areas of our men’s, women’s and academy and we are all excited about what can be achieved.

‘I look forward to building on the hard work of so many people and helping all of us grow together and enjoy more success, and am thankful for the trust the club has put in me. We move forward together.’

Chief Executive Vinai Venkatesham added: ‘We are delighted that Edu is recommitting his future to the Club that he so clearly loves, after making such a positive and critical contribution to our progress in his time with us so far.

‘Edu’s promotion formalises his already growing influence over our Academy operations, and we look forward to Per and Edu working together to strengthen the integration between our men’s first-team and Academy yet further.’

.

 and .