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‘I want to be like Vieira’ William Saliba reveals Arsenal and France goal following World Cup call up

The defender has reflected on his National Team call up

William Saliba is aiming to emulate fellow Arsenal Frenchman Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira and win the World Cup while starring for the Gunners, with the defender revealing that he only found out he had made the senior squad an hour before the official announcement.

The 21 year old has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water, missing just 14 minutes of action as he has helped Arsenal to the top of the Premier League, with a win over Wolves this weekend leaving them as leaders heading into Christmas and the World Cup break.

And, asked about his goals, the defender explained that he wants to emulate the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira in lifting the World Cup while on the books of Arsenal.

“I want to be the next Frenchmen to do that, like [Robert] Pires or Vieira or Henry”, he explained. “I am so happy and grateful to be in this squad. I wanted to be in it, but in France we have a lot of good defenders. If I am in the squad it’s because I had a good start to the season with Arsenal.”

“Some people told me just one hour before, but I waited for the coach (Didier Deschamps). So when the coach told the media I was so happy. It was just before the game. I was so happy,” he added.

“When he (Deschamps) spoke on the TV we were in the warm-up. So when I came back I watched it a little bit on my phone and I saw my name. I was so happy.

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To achieve this goal, France will have to become just the third club in World Cup history to defend their crown, a feat that hasn’t been managed since 1962.

Drawn in a group with Denmark, Australia and Tunisia, Les Blues will need to put a disappointing Nations League campaign behind them to challenge tournament favourites Brazil for top spot.

You can find all of the squads for the World Cup here.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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