Payet jokes Saliba was only called up to France due to injured players – he was a 50-year-old Arsenal or Thuram man!
Dimitri Payet has jokingly taunted Marseille team-mate William Saliba about his recent call-up to the senior France squad, telling the Arsenal loanee he was only selected due to the injury of 14 players and of Lilian Thuram, 50, being the alternative for Didier Deschamps.
Saliba, the highly rated 21-year-old centre-half, was initially left out of the Blues’ latest camp but was drafted in for fixtures with Ivory Coast and South Africa after the Bayern star Munich, Benjamin Pavard, received a blow.
Saliba made his debut on the bench against the Ivorians before playing the full 90 minutes in a 5-0 win over South Africa, but Payet hinted he only got the nod because the 1998 World Cup winner Thuram is long retired.
What was said?
While discussing his own international ambitions, Payet said RMC Sports when it is pointed out to him that his club colleague Saliba has been recognized by Deschamps: “Yeah, but that’s because there were 14 injured people behind him. At some point it was either him or they were calling Thuram back!
Will Payet play again for France?
While Saliba is now part of the bosom of France, Payet has not yet obtained a recall.
He played domestically and scored a stunning goal from 25 yards in his last Europa League Conference game, against PAOK.
The former West Ham playmaker has 38 caps but the last one was in 2018 and he is now 35.
Payet is not about to throw in the towel and said: “As long as I can play at international level, it will be in a corner.
“I am selectable. When you see the offensive potential of the Blues, places are expensive. »
France play six UEFA Nations League matches this summer – against Denmark, Croatia and Austria – before opening the defense of their World Cup crown on November 22 against play-off winners AFC vs CONMEBOL.