William Saliba tells Arsenal why he wants to stay at Marseille

Arsenal loanee William Saliba has confirmed he intends staying at Marseille rather than return to the Emirates this summer.

The Frenchman has spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Marseille but was due to return to north London at the end of the campaign.




However, Saliba says he wants to extend his spell at Marseille after helping the Ligue 1 team qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Marseille were in a battle with Monaco to finish second in Ligue 1 and secure a place in Europe’s top competition, and beat Strasbourg 4-0 on the last day to finish runners-up to PSG.




Speaking after Marseille’s victory on Saturday, Saliba said: ‘I want to come back and play the Champions League. I have never played in it and I want to discover it here.’

The Gunners spent £27m to sign Saliba from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 but the then-teenager was immediately sent back to his boyhood team on loan.

Saliba was handed the number 4 shirt when he returned to the Emirates the following summer but Mikel Arteta left him out of the club’s competitive squads for the 2020-21 season before sending him out on another loan in January.

The 21-year-old defender was at Nice last campaign and Marseille this term and now looks set to secure a permanent move away from the Emirates.




Last week, Saliba was named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year and was even included in Didier Deschamps’ latest France squad, having played two games for his country earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi – who is also on loan at Marseille – wants Saliba to remain at the French club next season.

‘I hope William stays here. He’s having a great season, he deserves everything that has happened to him,’ Guendouzi said. ‘He’s a great guy and he’s had a lot of great games.’

Arsenal end the campaign with a home game against Frank Lampard’s Everton on Sunday but they look set to miss out on a top-four finish and Champions League football.

JB

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