Arsenal signed William Saliba from Saint-Étienne in 2019 when Unai Emery was in charge at the Emirates. The Gunners immediately allowed the defender return to the Ligue 1 side on loan.
On his return to the Emirates, Emery was no longer at the club and was replaced by Mikel Arteta. The 20-year-old didn’t feature for Arsenal in the first half of last season and was sent out on loan to Nice in January.
Saliba joined Marseille on another temporary deal in the last window. He is a regular for the French club and has had a good start to this campaign.
Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli was in full praise of the Arsenal owned player and added his side are ‘lucky’ to have him.
Former Saint-Étienne star Loïc Perrin, who played alongside Saliba, has questioned Arteta and Arsenal’s decision to let the centre-back go out on loan.
“I don’t understand how they didn’t even try him at least once. When you observe him since his beginnings at Saint-Etienne… He’s calm, cold, lucid. In one-on-one situations, he’s got extraordinary footing and always gets out of it,” Perrin told Eurosport.
“Furthermore, he’s a great kid to have in a group. At Nice, after many months without playing, he was good immediately when Nice were in bad form.
“And at Marseille, in a crazy atmosphere, same thing. He doesn’t get carried away. He could have given something to Arsenal.”
Arsenal have conceded nine goals in five league matches. Eurosport are slightly critical of the English club’s current defence. The outlet further states Saliba is not at the north London club this season because Arteta ‘never considered him’.