Marseille have held a press conference to ‘present’ William Saliba, despite it being a loan deal, saying they will speak to Arsenal later in the season about signing him.
In what could be the first clue that William Saliba will be spending more than just one season with Marseille, the French club held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to present the Arsenal man to their fans.
This could, of course, be nothing, but it seems a bit much for a loan signing. They also did the same for Matteo Guendouzi, who is set to sign permanently next season. Perhaps they do it for all their loan signings, I was too lazy to check beyond Matteo.
Saliba has already featured for Marseille during their pre-season preparations and has been photographed at a number of training sessions. In fact, he’s started their last two games against Villarreal and ASSE and was in the squad for their game against Benfica, so it’s not like the move got held up for some reason and he’s only just been able to meet up with his new club.
Anyway, it all just seems a bit weird, delayed and over-the-top.
Saliba was asked if he thought he had maybe left for England too early in his career. “I don’t think I left for England too early,” he replied. “I am 20 years old, I have not proven anything, I have a lot of things to correct. We feel that the training is intensive [here at Marseille].
“I arrived during preparation. The coach and the staff welcomed me very well. I just spoke with Pablo and the coach and I was convinced to come here, with a stadium on fire.”
Asked where his favourite position was, Saliba said, “I can help out anywhere. OM is one of the best French clubs. When you wear this jersey, you have to get it wet.
“It will be weird [to play Nice]. I have the Marseille jersey. We will do everything to win there.”
Speaking about Saliba, Marseille president, Pablo Longoria, said, “Each transfer has a story. We had a lot of fun. William is a player with extraordinary potential. He has all the characteristics of a modern central defender. He has everything to succeed at the highest level.”
He was also asked about Saliba’s future and he replied, “On William, we have to speak with Arsenal later in the season. If we talk about loan with or without options, we always end up negotiating.
“We are aware of his potential.”
The press conference was streamed on Twitch and I don’t if you are able to rewatch it as I don’t know how Twitch works because I’m old. Here is the link anyway.