‘Hurt’ William Saliba fires warning to Arsenal over his future

William Saliba has claimed that he will be considering his future in the summer, after admitting that he was hurt by his treatment at Arsenal this season.

The defender was signed by the Gunners in the summer of 2019, with the deal including a season-long loan back with his former club St Etienne.

There was an increased excitement amongst fans as he neared his arrival, with many speculating who would be his long-term partner in the heart of our defence, but Mikel Arteta clearly had other ideas.

Saliba was subsequently left out of Arsenal’s quota for both the Premier League and the Europa League, and endured the opening half of the season with the Under-23 squad, before eventually returning to France on loan with Nice.

The 20 year-old is enjoying his football once again, but admits that he was hurt by his treatment by our club this season, before threatening that he will reassess his future in the summer.

‘I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for €30m, to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves,’ Saliba told TF1 (via GFFN).

‘To play zero, zero nothing in the Europa League or the league. I was in the squad once in the league cup. It hurt me, it affected me.

‘I don’t think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. I don’t think I left too early. These things happen. I believe in myself.’

‘I am just focused on doing the absolute most and best possible for the next 6 months. After that, we will see,’ Saliba warned.

Tags William Saliba

34 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    The treatment of Saliba was a disgrace and nothing or no excuse can justify why it was. I hope the lad is not scared by it and i hope that he can be what we think he can and hopefully with us.

  2. RSH says:

    There’s our answer. Saliba was ready to play, and we have to ask ourselves why he’s been treated like this. I won’t even entertain the argument that he wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve to be included in the both EPL and Europa League squad. Unacceptable treatment. I’m glad he knows that the fans were behind him and wanted to see him play. Very questionable judgement from Arteta and his team and I can only hope that they are able to come to an understanding this summer and Saliba plays for us.

  3. Lenohappy says:

    @Eddie please come and say something about this, because all you keep saying is how Saliba wasn’t ready and Arteta protecting him, there is your answer now.

    1. Reggie says:

      Arteta was not protecting him, he was blocking him.

      1. Steven says:

        Why….?

        1. gooner4life says:

          Same way he is blocking Balagon. It will be a disgrace if we loose him for nothing. Another Ganabry?

  4. Reddb10 says:

    Arteta preferred Luiz, mustafi, and Holding.

    1. RSH says:

      i wouldnt leave out a highly regarded teenager that the club spent 30mill on for one of these players. Especially not Mustafi. And at the time Holding was out of form and was close to joining Newcastle, so the decision just baffles me. The club was also trying to sell Mustafi that summer too.

  5. Roachie says:

    Hmmm, maybe I read more into this. When we’ve loaned out players such as ESR or Nelson they go to their adopted club and put their heads down and get on with the job and not criticise the parent club as Saliba has. Maybe he’s too outspoken or opinionated for his own good?

    1. RSH says:

      I’d agree, but Saliba didn’t come as an academy signing. He was already playing first team football. To be demoted to U-23 at your new club when you already start for a club in a top 5 league is wrong.

    2. Lenohappy says:

      Roachie, Saliba is not an academy player, he is already an established player, the truth is arteta really messed up here, this is why the club is not moving forward financially but later some will say the owner is not spending money.

    3. Johnze says:

      I am not sure it is really a critic. He was asked about the period and he also mentioned once he had a difficult season last year. He here mentions that he was deceived and hurt not to play more because he expected to play more. That’s human too. He is very young. ESR or Nelson were not in the same situation as they were in the club. Saliba was bought for 30M as he mentioned it and probably was craving for his debut and found it hard to be left out of the premier/Europa League squad.

  6. Sunny says:

    But why would Arteta do that with him unless he thinks he is not yet ready
    ?

    1. durand says:

      Who knows? It’s the same Arteta that thought Willock and woeful Nketiah were ready, so his judgement is unreliable at best.

  7. Amaabai says:

    aarteta is not serious to have believe in mustafy more than saliba..it’s really unthinkable with some of his decisions specifically with ozil and saliba

  8. Jevy says:

    There is something being swept under the carpet here. Maybe it was discovered that he was one of the moles that was in Arsenal dressing room. What else can justify his treatment. Arsenal refused him to play in a cup final in France and only to send him back there for development? Really one wonders.

  9. Elliot Mutseta says:

    Arteta is an awkward character. To imagine that he could treat Saliba and Ozil surely should have shocked the soccer fraternity. Arsenal struggled to sign Saiba, beating Totenham who were also keen on signing him. Arteta showed very little respect to both players. Even the way he is treating Florian Balogan leaves a lot be desired. Multiple Arsenal supporters callupon him to give the young talent a chance so as to extend his contract. But Arteta prefers the failing Willian instead. He is such a character who says “you don’t tell me what do.

  10. Grandad says:

    Arteta is far from infallible and in the fullness of time I suspect Saliba will go on to prove he made an error of judgement.The most important aspect of this issue is the damage to the relationship between Arteta and Saliba .From what I can gather the damage has been done and may be irreparable in which case Arsenal may decide to sell the young Frenchman who hopefully will have a successful season with Nice and thereby at least maintain his value.

  11. Ahmad73 says:

    I agree with your last sentence. He has either a big or a fragile ego.

  12. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    It’s clear now that Arteta isn’t being backed in the same way as we’ve been led to believe because if this was truly a transitional year why would you not want Saliba to actively participate in our “rebuild”…the reason why we’ve been playing the likes of Luiz and Mari, who have played well at times, is because Arteta is actually quite fearful of just how much leash he’ll be given, so he chose his own short-term selfish gain over the long-term success of the club…I think he’s now doing something similar with Gabriel, which I’m not impressed with whatsoever

    It was one thing to suggest that Mari was retaining his starting gig because you had a run of results with him in the lineup, but to functionally put Gabriel in the 3 hole is disconcerting…now all of sudden we see articles about MOTM Luiz or team leader, would-be-captain Luiz, which is nonsense if we have a long-term vision…I have a sick feeling that both Luiz and Xhaka will be at this club next year, and regular starters to boot

    1. Johnze says:

      And you forget Willian…
      A very good signing for a rebuild 😅… Hammering the progress of balogun or nelson… There is good things probably with arteta but also something wrong in his management.

  13. crazy gunner says:

    Personally I would like Saliba to come back to arsenal to stake a claim in the team but if I have to be honest if it was me as long as the current regime are there I would not!…I was actually surprised he did not hand in a transfer request!

    Treating a young player like that can crush them football is all about confidence.

    St Etienne were in the CL last season and he was a 1st team player there…. to be publicly humiliated in such a crass fashion is beyond belief…

    1. Reggie says:

      Totally agree and only a fool cant see that.

      1. Fritz says:

        I fail to understand why do we as a club have 30+ year old players when we are rebuilding and good talent that can be nurtured are being wasted.

  14. Durand says:

    It’s a bad miss on Arteta’s part, and his statements about Saliba not being ready are highly questionable.

    Saliba not even registered, but Nketiah and Willock were? Does anyone honestly believe Nketiah and Willock were more developed than Saliba?

    It’s Arteta’s job to develop young talent, that was good enough to start in the French league let’s remember.

    I fear the worst, that we’ll never see Saliba play with our club, and Luiz gets yet another extension.

    Time for Edu to step up and inform Arteta club has it’s CB’s already; Holding, Gabriel, Mari, Saliba, and Mavro coming back.

    Kronke will never give Arteta his dream 11, so time for Arteta to develop what he has and address bigger problems.

    Rebuild midfield around Partey and ESR, replace woeful Nketiah and Willian, and build attack around Saka and Martinelli.

    1. No fun gun says:

      Arteta has ego Problems Got to come back to bite him And us Alienated Boa login Shoehorned His boy William In Ad nauseam When lacazette gets hurt We’ll have nakadia leading the line Oh boy

  15. NaijaGunner says:

    I just think football fans say a lot of presumed things and often tend to show themselves as knowing more than the one whom an established organization like Arsenal will appoint as the first team manager. I guess non of us truly knows what really transpired. People should leave these matters alone. When an employee begins to point accusing fingers at his employer in public space, he is angling to leave.

  16. Ben proper says:

    Since Saliba got back to France, how has Nice improved? Loosing week in week out.. Bro you can’t trust an 18year old in the heart of your defense….
    Sending him on Loan will help his development rather than been on the bench like mustafi….
    Even holding needed time to compete.
    Guess he is 25 now

    1. Weeble says:

      I remember the idea was to get him games last year and then the WuFlu. The mistake was not completing the paperwork to get him on loan last fall. Compounded by the decision not to put him on the rosters. I don’t remember what the injury status was last September but I don’t think he was fit. Edu and Mikel messed up but kid your 18and on real money. Relax and go about your business. I hope he is above being an entitled nitwit. He was judged in some U23 games as not ready yet.

  17. Ben proper says:

    Arteta critics won’t do us any favour…
    Some fans here have sharpened their sword to slay Arteta had we lost to man utd

    1. Gooner-kc says:

      Ben, have you not realised how Arteta, solely, took Arsenal down to 15th place by making poor decisions that affected the players. His obsession with Willian and Nketiah, treatment of Saliba, Ozil, Maitland Niles, Lacazette literally failed the club. His decision to play ESR like five games later than he should have, show his inexperience, naivety and arrogance. With the players at his disposal, we really should be firmly in the top 3 right now. So yes, it is justified to slay him for poor, poor decision making.

  18. Trudeau says:

    I hope Saliba makes it with Arsenal but with these quotes I have my doubts. I’d rather hear him say that while it hurt it’s made him even more determined to put his head down and show Arteta he deserves his spot.

    Not saying Arteta has handled this well (Mustafi over Saliba in Europa League is a head a scratcher) but, with these quotes, neither is Saliba.

  19. Wayne says:

    While l am a fan of Arteta in many aspects, his handling of Saliba has baffled me. Saliba came from St.Ettienne in the French league as a starter of a top five team, while Fofana was on the bench (Fofana now starts for Leicester). Without giving him a chance at all,Arteta told him that he wasn’t ready. At the same time, Arteta kept faith in players that continued to fall regularly. Besides, players were injured with no guarantee of their return date to full fitness or preparedness to play matches, yet, Arteta did not give Saliba his chance or even register him on the premier league and Europa cup league squads. At 18yr old, Saliba was voted as one of the best young talents in Europe and a year later he could not play for Arsenal (one of the worse defensive team at the time). The way I see it, from the outside is that Arteta wants to control grown professionals like his kids. But, a player have a right to express his feelings about his treatment by the manager,especially in a situation like that. It really hurts anyone to be discarded without a chance to prove his worth. Arteta’s bias trait and preferential treatment of players , almost cost him the Arsenal job a few weeks ago. Fortunately, some common sense has prevailed and more young talents got opportunities, which they took and turn the team fortunes around. If only Arteta can be better at players/ manager relationship, Arsenal will go places. He needs to give the young talents opportunities like he gives to Arsenal worse signing, Willian. Just hope that Saliba will return to Arsenal next season and is given the chance to prove his worth. Arsenal must sell Willian, Luis, Xhaha, Torriera, Kolasinac and Chambers at the end of the season,while Ceballos is not good enough and should return to Real Madrid. Arsenal must also do everything to keep Bolagun at all costs. Next season will be Arsenal chance to win the premier league. Arteta just be fair to all.

  20. Sean Williams says:

    There is clearly one area Mikel Arteta does not do well…….Man Management. His treatment of William Saliba and others is wrong…..morally wrong. That’s Arteta’s failing and it is a big one. If that is in his character then I have no doubt it will rise again over someone else. On his enthusiasm and intensity I give Arteta 10/10. On his way of treating some players 0/10. He needs to learn humility or he will fall a long way. Icarus and Tantalus in mythology suffered hubris and descended as far as can be possible. Arteta is not immune to this.

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