William Saliba attacks Mikel Arteta again in new interview


William Saliba has suggested that he was written off too quickly by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and believes the Spanish coach judged him ‘on two-and-a-half games’.

The 19-year-old defender moved to the Emirates in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne but after making the move last summer, he failed to make a first-team appearance under Arteta.

The Arsenal head coach claimed that Saliba needed to go through a ‘transition’ period in order to become a regular in the first-team.

And only last month Arteta gave the green light for William Saliba to join Ligue 1 side Nice on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

‘It’s clear that a lot has changed in the last year,’ Saliba told RMC. ‘When I saw the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change.

‘He judged me on two-and-a-half games. I would have liked for him [Arteta] to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready. ‘I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that.

‘When I initially came to Arsenal the league looked very good so I showed up to training and wanted to train on my own to show the coach I was ready.

‘I am happy now, I want to play for Nice. The idea when you’re part of a team is a better feeling for me.’

However, Saliba also claimed that Arsenal wanted him to cut short his loan last campaign. He told L’Equipe via GFFN: “They wanted me to come back in January, I didn’t, I stayed in St Étienne.

“After that, the fans were really looking forward to my arrival, I certainly didn’t imagine that it would happen like this.

“Aside from that, it is football, I have learned that nothing is certain, you can be there, in your game, and then things can go south. I took a lot of experience from it, at least I will be ready for the future.”


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