Arteta take note: William Saliba reveals the flaw in his game which sees Arsenal talent regularly criticised by Marseille boss
William Saliba has this weekend provided an insight into a particular shortcoming in his game which has seen the on-loan Arsenal talent singled out for criticism on the part of Olympique Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli.
Gunners stopper Saliba is of course currently in the midst of a 3rd successive loan spell away from the club.
After failing to establish himself in the first-team plans of Mikel Arteta in North London once again this past summer, the 20-year-old secured a return to his home country with Marseille for the 2021/22 campaign.
Saliba’s previous stint away from the Emirates, with OGC Nice over the 2nd half of last season, saw the Frenchman earn rave reviews for a string of mature, dominant displays at the heart of Les Aiglons’ backline.
And the early months of his spell at the Stade Velodrome have only seen the stopper continue to turn heads.
Across starts in all but one of Marseille’s Ligue 1 outings, Saliba has continued to build on his reputation as one of the best young defenders in the game.
OM have allowed just 10 goals to this point in the French top-flight campaign, aware that victories in their two games in hand could well guide them to the heights of 2nd-place, behind only PSG.
In turn, it may come as something of a surprise to hear that, this weekend, Saliba has in fact been discussing one of the shortcomings in his arsenal.
Speaking in an interview with Téléfoot ahead of Marseille’s upcoming meeting with Lorient, the Gunners talent revealed that he has been regularly singled out for criticism by fiery boss Jorge Sampaoli, for not putting sufficient pace on his passes:
‘With [Jorge] Sampaoli, we have to give it our all from start to finish.’
‘We can’t do things half-heartedly. Sometimes I don’t put enough power on my passes and he tells me: ‘those are kids’ passes!”
Saliba also provided an insight into his decision to make the move to the Stade Velodrome in the first place, waxing lyrical about his temporary club in explaining:
‘[Pablo] Longoria told me that if I wanted to reach the next level in my progression, I had to come here.’
‘If you can perform at Marseille, to play under this pressure, you can play anywhere else.’
‘I hadn’t even signed yet and I was already getting messages from supporters. I’ve never seen passion like this, in this town the only thing that matters is OM!’
William Saliba told off for “kids passes” by Marseille manager Jorge Sampaolihttps://t.co/G0XRXatVyh pic.twitter.com/N2lw95gFiO
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) October 17, 2021
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