Didier Deschamps’ shock William Saliba France decision hands Arsenal perfect transfer blueprint


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To the surprise of Arsenal fans, William Saliba has reportedly been left out of Didier Deschamps’ starting XI for France’s opening World Cup match against Australia. The Arsenal defender had been selected as part of a 26-man squad to represent Les Blues at the World Cup in Qatar.

It was expected that Saliba was to start in France’s opening match, however, French news outlet L’Equipe has reported that Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate are set to start the match. But, Deschamps’ surprising decision could give Edu an ideal transfer blueprint in January.

It had been reported that Arsenal are looking to sign a left-centre back, which was proven with the club’s failed pursuit of Lisandro Martinez in the summer, as the Argentine joined Manchester United. But, another player in this position linked to the club is Evan Ndicka from Eintracht Frankfurt. If the Gunners opted to sign the centre-back then Mikel Arteta could benefit the same way Deschamps has with France.

READ MORE:Edu’s successful £30m transfer plan proves why Arsenal’s World Cup scouting plan is a risk

Arteta could be following RB Leipzig’s blueprint from when they had both Upamecano and Konate as their starting centre-backs. The Spaniard could utilise a similar pattern by having Saliba and Ndicka in the backline.

Both of the Leipzig defenders were French youth internationals, but Julien Nagelsmann had them starting alongside each other in the Bundesliga, which helped the team qualify for the Champions League on multiple occasions. This could be Arteta’s thinking behind the potential signing of Ndicka and bringing Saliba back into the group ahead of the new campaign.

The partnership between Upamecano and Konate has clearly helped them progress as they now both start for France at the World Cup. And this is a blueprint Arteta can look to follow.

Both Saliba and Ndicka have been French youth internationals, and they would play perfectly alongside each other due to Ndicka being a left-footed centre-back and Saliba being the opposite. Gabriel Magalhaes needs more competition for his role and a left-footed centre-back would be an ideal acquisition.

In the summer, Arsenal were linked to Evan Ndicka, according to German outlet BILD. The Frenchman also reportedly gained interest from Liverpool and Newcastle in the same window.

The Frenchman’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2022/2023 season, which means that the Gunners can sign him on a cut-price deal in January or on a pre-contract for a free transfer for him to join at the end of campaign. Ndicka is currently valued at £21million by CIES Football Observatory.

Ndicka becomes an even more attractive signing when you consider his versatility. The youngster has also played at full-back last season and was very impressive in this role against Barcelona at Camp Nou when Frankfurt famously won 4-1 against the Catalan side in the quarter-final of the Europa League earlier last season.

Saliba’s omission from the starting France team in the World Cup was certainly a surprise. But, it could have provided a blessing in disguise as Deschamps’ starting centre-back partnership can go down as a blueprint that Edu looks to follow in the January transfer window.

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