Earlier today, we covered a chunk of William Saliba’s press conference at Marseille, where the Arsenal loanee was presented to the media following his move from the Emirates.
Sat next to Pablo Longoria, the centre-back was highly praised for his potential and ability as a football player by the club’s president, who also gave some insight about the conversations the pair had during the negotiation process.
Saliba will be in the south of France for the whole season before returning to Arsenal, as Marseille didn’t include an option to buy, probably because the Gunners still believe in their investment.
Either way, the player also had a few things to say during the press conference, and he made it clear that the move to the Ligue 1 side was his choice, as the London side had other plans for him.
He said, relayed by La Provence: “I had a chat with Pablo, with the manager. I knew that’s where I was going to play this season, with a stadium on fire and fans who expect a lot. For a young 20-year-old player, it can only do me good.
“I’m the one who chose Marseille. Arsenal preferred that I go to England, but I knew that here was the right choice. I pushed and pushed for it. Marseille is one of the best clubs in France, with a lot of fervour in the city and the country. You need to wet the shirt when you’re here”.
So, it appears Arsenal would have preferred for Saliba to get some experience in England after spending 18 months in France with Nice and Saint-Etienne.
However, playing under a manager as demanding as Jorge Sampaoli can only be beneficial, as well as doing so in top-flight football, in a competitive league.