By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
The head coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon António Conceição Da Silva Oliveira has revealed he is making efforts to bring Arsenal’s William Alain Andre Gabriel Saliba to his team despite having a mountain of challenges to overcome.
The 19-year-old Bondy-France native is Cameroon-eligible but holds a French passport.
Last month from sister site 45fois.com suggested the teenage sweeper is on the trainer’s wishlist and talks were on.
However, the Portuguese trainer at the helm of Cameroon’s senior selection and the player who has represented France at Under-17 category are yet to have contact though interest exist per the Coach’s camp.
“In the medium – long term, we are working with a repertoire of about forty young Cameroonian talents, plying their trade all over the world, and who are likely to join the Lions in the future. William Saliba is part of this list of players likely to represent Cameroon because of his origin. He is a youth international with the French national selection, but we also follow him. There are no concrete discussions yet. Neither with him, nor with his relatives, but he is in our list of 40 names”, Conceiçao told Goal.com during a recent conversation.
The Bond-native enjoyed a great 2019-2020 season at Saint Etienne judging by his age, featuring in 12 matches in the Central defensive role under emblematic French coach Claude Puel.
Saliba came through the ranks of the different youth teams of Saint Etienne.
Last summer, he penned a deal to join Arsenal from Saint-Etienne but stayed at the French Ligue 1 club in other to get more game time and look certain to go to the Emirates stadium this summer.
Saliba who is monitored by indomitable Lions boss Antonio Concecao, is giving his Club Manager Mikel Arteta selection headaches since arriving London Colney.
Saliba is eligible to represent either France by birth or Cameroon by descent.
Cameroonian pundits around the globe have unanimously agreed on his strengths which are: composure, maturity, on-the-ball quality, defensive awareness, Work ethic and winning mentality.
He ranks highly amongst all centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues when it comes to tackling – not in the sheer volume he undertakes, but the success rate and accuracy with which he conducts himself.
Though he possesses birthright to the Cameroon nationality, it is a tough but not impossible job to get him represent the Central African nation as he is expected to nail his colours to ‘the Blues’ someday in future.
Conceição has already succeed to lure Franck Bambock, Tsiy-William Ndenge, Harold Moukoudi amongst others and also have Youssoufa Moukoko in the list of 40.
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