William Saliba has been sent on loan again for the third season since signing for Arsenal but while many fans accuse the Arsenal manager of not giving the defender a proper chance, Marseille’s manager has told Saliba the same thing as Mikel Arteta – he has a lot to improve.

William Saliba arriving in Marseille (Photo via Mode55489648 on Twitter)
William Saliba arriving in Marseille (Photo via Mode55489648 on Twitter)

Arsenal insist that William Saliba has an Arsenal future but many wonder why he couldn’t be given a role in the Arsenal first team this season and doubt Mikel Arteta is being sincere about wanting the player to improve on loan to better his Arsenal chances.

Edu said at the time Saliba’s loan was announced: “Together with William, we have decided it will be good for his continued development to spend another season on loan. William joined us as an 18-year-old, and he is still only 20, so he is still developing all the time.

“William is a player with strong natural ability and next season has the potential to be really beneficial for him at Marseille, a good club. To play another season in Ligue 1 will be very important for his development. We will of course be keeping in close contact with William during the season and wish him all the best in France with Marseille.”

It’s easy to jump to conclusions, and I know I have done that very thing, but when the player admits that yet another manager has told him that he has a lot to improve in his game, it becomes harder to blame Arteta for just not liking the player because he was signed by Unai Emery.

“I know Mattéo (Guendouzi), Bouba (Kamara),” Saliba said. “I know them all, but it is with them that I am closest. I am impatient to meet my new teammates so that we can work together.

“We talked,” Saliba said of the Marseille manager, Jorge Sampaoli. “He wanted me on his team. He explained to me that although I was a good player so far, I had a lot of things to improve. With him, I will have these axes of progression.

“I like the philosophy of the game. I can play four, left or right. As long as the team is good, I can play anywhere.”