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William Saliba & Malang Sarr named in France Olympics squad

Tom Gott
Arsenal fans can watch William Saliba at the Olympics
Arsenal fans can watch William Saliba at the Olympics / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images
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Arsenal defender William Saliba will join Chelsea's Malang Sarr in the back line for France at this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

The competition, which is set to get underway on July 21, is primarily for players under 24 years old, with countries restricted to three senior players and clubs free to block their players from playing as the Olympics is not officially recognised by FIFA.

France Under-21 manager Sylvain Ripoll will lead Les Bleus this summer, and he will be expecting to win the whole thing with an outstanding squad which features Premier League representatives Saliba and Sarr.

It means the two players will likely miss the start of the league season as the tournament is set to run until August 7, seven days before the new Premier League campaign kicks off. Neither will feature in pre-season, which sounds like bad news for Saliba, who is still yet to convince Mikel Arteta of his worth.

Both will be keen to show their best form, but they are by no means the only two players worth watching. This France squad is completely stacked with talent, as seems to be the case for whatever tournament they enter.

Rennes starlet Eduardo Camavinga could easily steal the show, as could Monaco's skyscraper defender Benoit Badiashile, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United ever since he made his professional debut.

There are also bonafide Ligue 1 stars like Teji Savanier of Montpellier and Jonathan Ikone of Lille in midfield, alongside new Tigres man Florian Thauvin.

Thauvin isn't the only Tigres representative in the squad. 35-year-old striker Andre-Pierre Gignac is set to make a return to the international stage for the first time since late 2016.

Andre Pierre Gignac
Gignac plays his football in Mexico / Hector Vivas/Getty Images

For France, their tournament will begin with a meeting with Mexico on July 22, which will quickly be followed by group stage fixtures against South Africa and Japan.

Les Bleus are among the favourites to go all the way this summer, but they will have to overcome big names like Germany and reigning champions Brazil.


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