Arsenal duo including William Saliba on final shortlist for Golden Boy award

Arsenal have had two players named on the 2021 shortlist for the Golden Boy award including outcast William Saliba following his loans at first Nice and now Marseille.

Erling Haaland, Joao Felix and Matthijs de Ligt are the most recent three players to win the award, with all nominees under the age of 21 and play in the top tier of a European nation.

Saliba is joined on the list by Bukayo Saka, who has played a key role for both the Gunners and England over the past 18 months.

Manchester United's Mason Greenwood is also named, with new boy at Tottenham Bryan Gil joined by Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund and Jamal Musiala of Bayern Munich among others.

The inclusion of Saliba has again raised questions over his Arsenal exclusion, although Mikel Arteta has insisted that he has a plan for the 20-year-old defender.

He said earlier this year: "I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.

"But a lot of things have happened to him he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough."

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With Saliba saying in response to L’Equipe earlier this week: “We’ve done a big start to the season, even if the three last games haven’t been positive with two losses in Ligue 1.

"We’re going to come back to try and win. I have been welcomed really well by my teammates and the fans.

“For me, it’s a very good choice, it’s the club I needed, with a very good pressure. At my age, it’s good to play in a stadium like that.”

Full Golden Boy shortlist 2021

William Saliba – Marseille & France

Bukayo Saka – Arsenal & England

Mason Greenwood – Manchester United & England

Bryan Gil – Tottenham & Spain

Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund & England

Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich & Germany

Pedri – Barcelona & Spain

Eduardo Camavinga – Real Madrid & France

Karim Adeyemi – RB Salzburg & Germany

Gavi – Barcelona & Spain

Daniel Maldini – AC Milan & Italy

Giovanni Reyna – Borussia Dortmund & USA

Rodrygo – Real Madrid & Brazil

Charles De Ketelaere – Club Brugge & Belgium

Ryan Gravenberch – Ajax & Netherlands

Nuno Mendes – PSG & Portugal

Roberto Piccoli – Atalanta & Italy

Yeremy Pino – Villarreal & Spain

Florian Wirtz – Bayer Leverkusen & Germany

Jurrien Timber – Ajax & Netherlands

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