The Premier League club Arsenal’s William Saliba turned down to join Marseilles revealed
Saliba’s confusing Arsenal career
William Saliba has not played a competitive minute for Arsenal since he joined the club in 2018 from Saint Etienne, instead finding himself loaned out on three occasions.
The defender, still just 20-years-old, is plying his trade with Ligue 1 Marseilles this campaign, and has impressed under Jorge Sampaoli’s stewardship.
And Saliba recently hit the headlines for the Ligue 1 outfit, as he found himself facing off against Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, a test for any defender.
It was, however, one that he passed with flying colours, keeping a clean sheet and having his customary poise on the ball.
This tackle from William Saliba on Kylian Mbappe 👏 pic.twitter.com/xISzeO00qm
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) October 25, 2021
But it could have been so different for the French starlet.
Saliba spurns Newcastle for Marseilles
When making his decision to move on loan, Saliba initially wanted to stay in the Premier League, and was set to sign for Northeast side Newcastle United.
As per Sam Dean, of the Daily Telegraph:
“For much of this summer, the defender’s first-choice option was to join Newcastle United on loan. He was attracted to the idea of staying in the Premier League and adjusting to English football”
However, this changed when Marseilles came calling, Dean revealing that:
“As that deal edged closer, though, Marseille came in strongly. The sales pitch from Sampaoli and Pablo Longoria, the club president, was compelling, with the two men promising Saliba a major role in their project”.
William Saliba has become Marseille’s “rock”. Inside his loan & the plans for his Arsenal return
🔵Close relationship with demanding Sampaoli
🔵Preparing for #AFC comeback (English lessons)
🔵Why he almost joined Newcastle
Currently free to read (UK)https://t.co/aXE60tDtGg
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) November 2, 2021
Given the contrasting form of the sides, with Newcastle in the relegation of the Premier League, while Marseilles sit second in Ligue 1, it seems as though Saliba may have made the right decision for his longer-term future as he continues to test himself against the best players in the world in France.