William Saliba has had the door opened to him ahead of a potential Arsenal debut next season.
It comes after Gabriel Magalhaes’ admission that he wants to play at the Olympics this summer for Brazil.
That would give Mikel Arteta something of a selection headache with the ex-Lille star one of the first names on the teamsheet when fit.
Gabriel only signed last summer but his defensive acumen combined with his ability on the ball has made him an important member of the first-team.
But the centre-back has insisted that his mind is made up over the Olympics and has insisted he wants to represent his country in Tokyo this year.
“A dream. That’s the word to describe this possibility,” said the 23-year-old to GloboEsporte.
“Representing the green and yellow shirt is always a source of pride and pleasure. Without a doubt it is a dream and also a goal.
“The generation that won in 2016 will be remembered forever. I hope to be able to write my name in history too.”
Gabriel has been called up to the squad, along with Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Martinelli, while the competition starts on July 23 and finishes on August 8.
With the first Premier League match of the season set to go ahead on August 14, it means the Gunners duo will likely miss the first game.
For Arteta, that will come as a blow – with Gabriel a large part of his building from the back system – but when one door shuts another opens.
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With the Brazilian set to miss the majority of Arsenal’s pre-season too, Saliba should get the nod after being promised a chance to impress this summer.
If the Frenchman takes that opportunity, it would be unfeasible for Arteta to not start him on the first day of the 2021/22 season.
There are many in France who are baffled at the lack of chances Saliba has had at the Emirates, with the defender touted as one of the best talents their country has seen in years.
The 20-year-old had a year to forget for the Gunners last season when he was left out of the Europa League squad and was ostracised up until January.
That was when he was allowed to leave for OGC Nice in Ligue 1, where he was an instant hit.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will let Gabriel go to this summer’s Olympics, with the defender adding: “Due to the level of competitions I played and having played frequently, I’m sure this will be very important for me in the national team.
“I feel, today, a much more complete athlete. Tactically, physically and technically, I feel extremely prepared.
“I played against the best athletes and at a very high intensity. This raised my level a lot. I hope to be able to put all this growth into practice for the national team.”