William Saliba reveals that he made “the right choice” leaving Arsenal for Marseilles
Saliba’s confusing Arsenal stint
William Saliba, a 27 million pound signing from French outfit Saint-Etienne, is yet to play a minute of senior football for Arsenal, since arriving in 2019.
In a somewhat bizarre transfer story, Saliba has spent the last three seasons on loan in Ligue 1, with three different clubs, all whilst not playing a single minute for Arsenal’s senior side.
🚨 Marseille reach agreement with Arsenal to sign William Saliba on 1yr loan. #OM to pay #AFC loan fee but no option to buy. 20yo still needs to have medical before embarking on 3rd spell away since signing in 2019. No new contract discussed @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/0CDDoyvlc1
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 12, 2021
Following stints with Saint-Etienne and OGC Nice, the defender has since joined Marseille for the 2021-22 season, and has been quick to impress. In their opening seven games, he has helped limit the goals conceded to just 8, which has resulted in OM reaching third place in the Ligue 1 table at the early stages.
Still only 20 years old, he is very much learning his trade, but with the addition of Ben White to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad, fans are questioning where the youngster fits into the North London club’s plans after he was sent on loan once more, with many thinking he should have chosen to gain Premier League experience.
However, the Metro revealed that it was Saliba that picked his club, saying:
Saliba turned down Newcastle United, Lille and a return to Nice, opting for Marseille instead
Saliba talks about his start to Marseilles
Now captain of the French U21 side, Saliba has been speaking to L’Equipe about why he made the decision to opt for the Ligue 1 outfit over the many other options that he had available, saying:
We made a big start to the season, even if the last three games were not positive with two defeats in L1. We will come back to try to win. I was very well received by my teammates, the supporters. For me, it’s a very good choice, it’s the right club, with very good pressure. At my young age, it’s good to play in a stadium like this. “
It is safe to say that at present, the decision to join Marseilles has proved good for his learning, having started nine of the ten games he has been available for across the Europa League and Ligue 1. Will he be able to slot into Mikel Arteta’s squad next season?