William Saliba’s tough Arsenal career so far
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, the man once hailed as “one of the most promising young centre backs in France” has spent the last three seasons on loan in Ligue 1, with three different clubs.
🚨 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 five games, he has helped limit the goals conceded to just 5, which has resulted in OM reaching second 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 squad, fans are questioning where the youngster fits into the North London club’s plans.
Defender backed to come good
However, speaking to football.London, elite fitness coach Nicolas St-Maurice discussed his time spent with Saliba last summer, and backed him to make a big impression at Arsenal next season,
The coach said:
When I first saw him I thought of Van Dijk because of his positions of plays and he has the right potential to make it far. I know a lot of young players I can see that some get distracted when they come to Dubai but he was working hard and he’s got the right environment.
William is humble. Arsenal fans are annoyed right now because he’s not at the club and he’s doing really well in Marseille but I think last season he missed some games on top of COVID. Saliba needs to play more and he will come good.
“Right away I thought of Virgil Van Dijk. I think he definitely has the potential to make it far. A lot of players when they come to Dubai find it tough to stay focused, but he was here working hard” 💪
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) September 30, 2021
He does not want to come to Arsenal and sit on the bench – that’s not his mentality. He wants to be playing for Arsenal. I think next season he will make a solid case for himself.