William Saliba named in France’s Tokyo Olympics squad and will miss majority of Arsenal’s pre-season… but there’s NO place for Kylian Mbappe despite forward revealing it’s been his ‘lifelong dream’ to be picked!
William Saliba has been named in‘s squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but there is no Kylian Mbappe in the 18-man squad.
Thedefender, who signed for £27m in 2019 but then went straight out on loan, will now miss out on pre-season with the north side.
The gold medal match takes place on August 7 in Yokohama, just six days before Mikel Arteta’s side get their Premier League campaign underway against.
William Saliba has been selected in France’s 18-man squad for this summer’s Olympic Games
Eduardo Camavinga will also feature amid rumours of a big-money move away from Rennes
Eduardo Camavinga is also named in the squad, the 18-year-old midfielder himself linked with a potential move to Arsenal this summer.
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have also been linked with the Rennes star though, and will be among the clubs paying close attention to him in Japan.
FIFA extended the age limit rules last April for the men’s tournament as a result of the Games being postponed due to the pandemic, with those who are 24 and under eligible to play to ensure players do not miss out as a result of the year delay.
Each team is still allowed to pick three over-aged players in their squad. Andre-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin and Teji Savanier have been chosen by France as those three for the Games.
Andre-Pierre Gignac has been selected as one of three players aged over 24 in the squad
They will bring plenty of experience to the side, with Gignac capped 36 times and scoring seven times for the French national side, and Thauvin appearing ten times himself.
With Kylian Mbappe eligible due to his age there had been talk over his potential inclusion in the squad, particularly after he voiced his desire last month to play in the Olympics.
Mbappe told TF1: ‘For us, having recognition from the whole country is very important.
‘Everyone knows that my dream has always been to take part at the Olympic Games and I hope I will be able to realise one of my lifelong dreams.’
Kylian Mbappe will not play at the Olympics despite expressing his desire to one day do so
However with a potentially deep run at Euro 2020 to come, and his club PSG keen for Mbappe to prioritise pre-season with them over the Olympics, the 22-year-old has not been selected.
France face hosts Japan alongside Mexico and South Africa in Group A of the tournament, with the top two sides in each of the four groups going through to the quarter finals.
They will be hoping to replicate the success of the 1984 Olympics, when the French team beat Brazil in the final to take home the gold medal.
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