William Saliba admits he learned lessons from Arsenal snub

Everybody was extremely surprised when William Saliba arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2020, but Mikel Arteta immediately decided that the youngster wasn’t ready to play in the Premier League, and didn’t even register the Frenchman in the first team squad.

Any summer loan deals fell through and Saliba had to wait until the January window to open before he could get to play any football at all, but he now admits that it made him think about his position and it drove him to want to improve himself as much as possible so that he could play every week.

“There are hard times,” Saliba told Eurosport. “I hadn’t played a game for six months.

“You have to fight in a career. We must take that as a lesson to go further. It gave me a little slap to say: ‘You are nobody!’ You can be bought for 30 million euros, arrive in a club and we put you aside.

“I took this experience by being positive. I feed on it. I know what it’s like not to play for six months. Today, I want to play every game. It puts the ideas back in place. Before arriving at Arsenal, I said to myself: ‘Who am I going to play with?’ And then you are not even in the group in the Premier League.

“It is not a direct message,” he adds. “But since I didn’t play for six months, that I had a hard time, I wanted to show that I had the capacity to play at this club. I do it for myself first. It’s not revenge.”

“I’m on loan,” he says. “But I pretend I’m there for many years. I’m not thinking about returning to Arsenal [right now]. I give myself to Marseille. I don’t think about what will happen afterwards.”

Going by reports from France, it seems that Saliba is performing very well in a Marseille side that has conceded less goals than any other Ligue 1 club, and they are currently second in the table.

Of course Arsenal will be looking carefully at his progress and performances, and it remains to be seen whether Arteta will find a place for him in the first team next season, but I sincerely hope we get to finally see him in Arsenal’s colours.

If not, I’m sure we could get a good price for him, but we may be letting aa future superstar slip through our fingers…

Tags Arteta Marseille Saliba


  1. It’s this situation (along with a few others) that I find myself unable to commit to MA 100%.

    This is NOT the way our club treats players, although I recognise both parties have said that they are in agreement with the situation.

    I just wonder if the treatment Saliba has experienced, will want to play for The Arsenal… ask yourself what you would do?

    1. I agree with you Ken. The man management by Arteta has been atrocious, and one could argue harms the club.

      Mavro and Guendouzi are 2 examples of how Arteta’s dealing have hurt the club financially. Those 2 will be sold for pennies on the pound, and a financial windfall lost because Arteta would not incorporate them into the club.

      Rather than get Saliba ready, wastes £50 million on a CB when a proper DM or B2B is obvious hole in the squad.

      Saliba is yet another example. Arteta claims he is “not ready.”
      Yet Mari is a massive disappointment and waste of valuable funds. Isn’t it the manager’s job to get players ready?

      Wasn’t Arteta praised for his work with youth at Man City? What happened? The magic disappear, or never was?

      Arteta still trying to sell U-23 Nketiah as “ready” is laughable. Brings him in on the wing and says he’s better option than Pepe?

      Who buys that? Seems ego driven decision rather than best for the team. Nketiah better option on LW than Pepe? A fool’s dream.

      I believe Saliba could challenge maybe oust White now, but not at Gabriel’s level yet.

      If Arteta isn’t top 6 and fighting for 4th, he has to be held accountable for his man management and table results.

      1. Agree with both you Ken and Durand
        Hardly a positive interview with Saliba .
        Man management is not one of Artetas strong points .
        Mind you I’m struggling to find any strong points at all .

      2. From the limited information we have available, in my view, Arteta’s man management has been firm and for the most part reasonable and appropriate.
        To describe his man management as atrocious and potential harming the club is ridiculous.
        There have been some questionable decisions e.g. Mari but it is clear from the last transfer window that there has been an important change in approach to player acquisitions. The change quite clear shows that Arteta, Edu etc. have reflected carefully on the last 2 seasons and made adjustments so that Arsenal can again become truly competitive. They have set out a well thought out and reasonable plan.
        It was by no means certain that Saliba was ready at the beginning of this season to play regularly for Arsenal but he has now had the opportunities to play and develop. He is still quite young and will likely be better placed to challenge for a spot next season.

        1. Fair play david you don’t like anyone having a bad word to say regarding Arteta .
          That’s twice just in the last hour you have called posters opinions nonsense and now ridiculous,we get it he can do no wrong in your eyes but other fans think differently I’m sorry to say but that is life .

    2. Where you and I fundamentally differ KEN and which is also the basic and fundamental difference between us in the principles we hold dear, is that I ALWAYS AND WITHOUT A SINGLE EXCEPTION, look at how the manager (or whoever) has chosen to put the clubs needs above the individuals, while you, – as it seems to me- put the players needs and what you seem to regard as AFC s traditional values, above our teams present needs.

      Ozil was the longest lasting and most glaring example of how this fundamental difference betwen us has led to so many of our quarrels, even though I still do and always have hugely respect your dedication and decency.

      Needless to add I sincerely believe that MA did with SALIBA what he thought best for AFC.

      It looks to me that is now becoming obvious that it was the correct strategy and I also believe it has brought Saliba on in leaps and bounds and that we will reap the benefits of it next season when he is almost certain to be in our side.

      1. Why do you think it was/is the right decision Jon?
        If Saliba decides that his future lies away from the club due to his treatment since signing for, but playing not one PL game, the club could lose out on a, potentially, top class player.

        I guess some see it differently to you and time will tell.

        1. By the way Jon, I have always put the club first…. why you think differently I have no idea.
          That doesn’t mean I have to agree and follow any decision made, like a lemming, such as rewarding a 31 and 10 month old player with a three year contract extension for example – and your view on Xhaka versus that of MA would seem that you hold the same reasoning!!!

  2. Bring him back and have a rotation of 3 world class (and very young) center backs. Even learn to mix 3 in the back into our set up occasionally against top sides. Get rid of holding and mari.

    For the first time in 7-8 years, arsenal has something here. Sign a top striker and cm and we’re there. Don’t screw this up Arsenal!

  3. Another player treated really badly and it looks like it could come back and bite us. There is no excuses as yo why he was treated so poorly in his time at Arsenal.

  4. Get him back he’s a quality defender and just hasn’t had the time or gaming to prove it, this crock of he’s to young is rubbish, he’s playing for a top french team just now and playing and proving he can be a asset at arsenal, yes years he says bcoz we bought him during unai Emery being at arsenal and not for cheapness ,we had nothing back to show for that cash, get him back even for backup only way he’s going to begin his learning the arsenal way

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