Unwanted by Mikel Arteta for different reasons, Mattéo Guendouzi and William Saliba needed to find themselves new clubs this summer.
The midfielder has found himself exiled after his antics against Brighton all those months ago, while the defender appears to be unable to convince the Spaniard that he’s of the required level for Premier League football despite impressing in most of his loans since he signed at the Emirates.
Either way, the pair were sent to Marseille in France, where their new president, Pablo Longoria, decided to sign them on loan, although on very different deals.
Despite not being fully public, it’s almost certain that Guendouzi will leave the Gunners for good at the end of the season, while Saliba is on a purely dry loan, meaning he will return to Arsenal when the current campaign ends.
For now, though, they are both still contracted to the London club, and are shining far from home under Jorge Sampaoli.
Despite drawing 1-1 to Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday night in the Europa League, the Ligue 1 side had two standout performers, and they were the two Arsenal loanees.
That’s how La Provence see it, reporting the midfielder ‘delivered a great display’ in Russia, ‘always in the right tempo and facing forward, he multiplied runs and passes to bend the Moscovites’, and his exit, when Pol Lirola came in, ‘hurt OM’ towards the end of the game.
As for Saliba, ‘he once again showcased a mixture of power and serenity’, as his ‘clean and faultless interventions were precious in helping the Marseille backline to not suffer’ and he even came close to finding the back of the net but his header was saved by the Lokomotiv goalkeeper.
This is exactly the kind of reports Arsenal will want to hear, as they mean Guendouzi is on the right track to being sold and Saliba is improving and shining before returning to the Emirates, where it will become harder and harder for Arteta to not give him a start, if the Spaniard is still the manager when he returns, that is.