William Saliba has confirmed that he was the one who pushed for a loan to Marseille with Arsenal wanting him to stay in the Premier League.

William Saliba press conference
William Saliba press conference

Until now, William Saliba got all the sympathy for how his Arsenal career has panned out, but refusing what your club want in order to pursue what you think is a better option hardly seems like the best way forward.

A loan move to a club in England would have put Saliba in front of both Arsenal fans and Mikel Arteta. It would have given him the chance to demonstrate that he is indeed fit for the Premier League and deserves a chance at Arsenal.

Alas, the 20-year-old wanted Marseille instead and Arsenal gave him what he wanted.

“I’m the one who chose to go to Marseille, they [Arsenal] preferred that I go to England, but I knew that coming here was the right choice, so I really pushed for this,” Saliba said at a press conference on Thursday when he was presented as a Marseille player.

“I spoke with the coach [Jorge Sampaoli] and Pablo [Longoria, OM president], and I was quickly convinced.”

“I’m young, I’m 20 and I haven’t proven anything yet. I still have many aspects to fix and areas in which I can progress.”

Marseille are hopeful of turning the loan into a permanent deal. Marseille’s president, Pablo Longoria, said at the same press conference, “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.

“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.”