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Could Arsenal follow suit? Trio of clubs ban stars from joining Olympic squads

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: William Saliba of Arsenal during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on October 30, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

France’s prospects for this summer’s Olympic games have, on Friday, been dealt a blow, after a trio of clubs confirmed that they will not allow their players to link up with Les Bleus.

Attentions turn to Tokyo

As things stand, the football world is of course firmly focused on a pair of tournaments – the European Championships, and the Copa America.

The former has proven a thrilling spectacle to date, with the upcoming knockout rounds jam-packed with mouthwatering ties, including showdowns between the likes of Belgium and Portugal, and England and Germany.

Upon the Euros’ completion on the 11th of July, though, fans will not have at all long to wait before yet another high-profile international competition gets underway.

Could Arsenal follow suit? Trio of clubs ban stars from joining Olympic squads

England’s midfielder Jack Grealish (L) fights for the ball with Scotland’s defender Stephen O’Donnell during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium in London on June 18, 2021. (Photo by CARL RECINE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARL RECINE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This comes with the Olympic games also just around the corner.

In a little under a month’s time, nations from across the globe will come together, to battle it out for a highly sought-after gold medal.

Monaco & more respond

As outlined above, though, on Friday, France’s hopes of going all the way have been dealt something of a blow. A short time ago, Sylvain Ripoll’s 18-man U23 squad was unveiled, as follows:

Goalkeepers: Paul Bernardoni (Angers), Gautier Larsonneur (Brest)

Defenders: Benoît Badiashile (Monaco), Anthony Caci (Strasbourg), Malang Sarr (Chelsea), William Saliba (Arsenal), Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan), Clément Michelin (Lens)

Midfielders: Maxence Caqueret (Lyon), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Florian Thauvin (Tigres), Lucas Tousart (Hertha Berlin), Jonathan Ikoné (Lille), Téji Savanier (Montpellier)

Attackers: André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Amine Gouiri (Nice), Randal Kolo Muani (Nantes), Arnaud Nordin (St Étienne)

As revealed by the reliable Get French Football News, however, in the meantime, three of the clubs to have seen their young stars called up have informed Les Bleus that they will not be allowing those in question to link up with the nation.

The clubs in question come in the form of Monaco, OGC Nice and Stade Rennais.

Could others, in turn, follow suit? Much discussion has surrounded the inclusion of one player in particular by Ripoll – Arsenal’s William Saliba. The Gunners faithful have already made clear their hope that Saliba will return for pre-season, before being handed a chance to impress by Mikel Arteta.

His subsequent call-up for the Olympics, though, has all but ruled such a possibility, with the competition set to run well into pre-season training camps for Premier League clubs.


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This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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