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‘Gutted for him’: Ray Parlour disappointed after what happened to ‘unbelievable’ Arsenal man at the World Cup
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

‘Gutted for him’: Ray Parlour disappointed after what happened to ‘unbelievable’ Arsenal man at the World Cup

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has just a few days left to prepare before his side restart their Premier League campaign.

He would have been wishing the World Cup never happened given his side’s form before the tournament.

Speaking on TalkSPORT, Arsenal legend Ray Parlour was speaking about Arteta’s squad.

Ten Gunners went to Qatar, although none of them could return with a winner’s medal.

The loss of Gabriel Jesus to injury while with Brazil will be a bitter blow as well.

The likes of Bukayo Saka and Matt Turner only enhanced their reputations while with their national teams.

Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

Saka is going to be one of Arsenal’s most important players in Jesus’ absence over the next few months.

One player who would have been hoping to have a bigger impact at the World Cup was William Saliba.

Off the back of being one of the Premier League’s best defenders in the first half of the season, Saliba barely played for France.

Didier Deschamps selected the likes Dayot Upamecano and Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate ahead of him.

And Parlour now thinks Saliba would have wanted to play a much bigger role for his country.

Parlour gutted for Saliba after quiet World Cup

The 21-year-old had to watch from the bench as France agonising lost on penalties to Argentina on Sunday.

Saliba made just a single appearance for Les Bleus in Qatar, coming off the bench against Tunisia in a dead rubber.

Parlour was asked on TalkSPORT about the players who Arteta needs to make sure sign a new contract.

The young defender was one of the names that came up: “Saliba, who’s had a great season so far.

“I’m so pleased he didn’t play too many games at the World Cup.

“I’m gutted for him, because he would have loved to have played, but it gives Arsenal more of a chance going forward.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“Those sort of guys [including Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka], you’ve got to sign them up very quickly.”

Saliba is certainty more appreciated in north London than for his country right now.

His teammates have been thoroughly impressed this season, with Aaron Ramsdale stunned by just how good he’s been.

Saka has said he’s got an ‘amazing future’ ahead of him, and the pair could lead the club together for some time.

Given Saliba’s age, the World Cup in Qatar is unlikely to be his only chance at winning football’s biggest trophy.

And right now, he’s got an unlikely title charge to focus on with the Gunners.

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