France Under-21 have a star-studded squad filled with some of the continent’s brightest prospects, but they were unable to find a winner against European minnows Faroe Islands
Eduardo Camavinga and William Saliba were among the French youngsters left red in the face as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Faroe Islands.
France Under-21 have a star-studded squad filled with some of Europe’s brightest prospects, but they were unable to find a winner after Steffan Lokin cancelled out Amine Gouiri’s opener.
Real Madrid wonderkid Camavinga, Arsenal defender Saliba – currently on loan at Marseille – and Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier were members of the matchday squad which travelled to the North Atlantic island chain.
Camavinga and Meslier played 90 minutes and Saliba was an unused substitute as their side picked up one point the 2023 Under-21 Euros qualifier.
Faroe Islands’ senior team is ranked 114 in the world by FIFA, whereas France’s senior side are third and the reigning world champions after their triumph in Russia in 2018.
Unlike his teammates, Camavinga is already a senior France international and has earned three caps for Les Bleus, scoring once.
The 18-year-old midfielder is considered one of the most-promising talents in the world and was snapped up by Real Madrid at the end of the transfer window.
Los Blancos paid £25million to sign Camavinga from Rennes and the teenager penned a long-term contract running until 2027.
Camavinga has been compared to Chelsea hero N’Golo Kante by France boss Didier Deschamps, who said after his debut: “He’s in his element.
“And he’s got no problems on the physical side of things. He has a way of carrying the ball … it seems so simple and so easy for him.
“He’s been the youngest person to play for France for a long time and he has the potential to play again for the team.”
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Saliba, meanwhile, has made three appearances in Ligue 1 since joining Marseille for the season. Although he did not feature against Faroe Islands, he kept a clean sheet in France U21’s 3-0 victory over North Macedonia earlier this month.
Saliba’s impressive form for club and country may prompt Marseille to pursue a permanent transfer next summer, as club chairman Pablo Longoria has hinted he might.
“On William’s question, it’s always the season that must speak,” said Longoria. “Everyone knows the potential he has, Arsenal first.
“These will be conversations that can be placed later in the season. Our goal is always to give continuity to what we are building. This is an issue that was discussed with Arsenal during the negotiations.
“But now, in today’s football, I believe that whether we are talking about a loan with or without an option to buy, history tells you that in the end you end up negotiating.
“On the purchase options also, we’ll discuss about his availability, in economic potential. Call options are still subject to negotiation. But everyone is aware of the potential he has.”