Dimitri Payet says he doesn’t understand why William Saliba hasn’t played more for Arsenal, given his performances on loan so far.

Valentin Rongier Olympique de Marseille - William Saliba Olympique de Marseille - Alvaro Gonzalez Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne - Ligue 1 Uber Eats - Marseille - 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC
William Saliba – Olympique de Marseille – Alvaro Gonzalez – Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Marseille – 28/08/2021 Norbert Scanella / PanoramiC

Speaking to French outlet L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), Dimitri Payet has questioned why his Marseille teammate William Saliba hasn’t yet been given a chance to feature for his parent club.

“The one that impresses me the most is “Willie” (William Saliba),” Payet said. “Considering what he’s been doing since the start of the season, I don’t understand why he hasn’t played more for Arsenal.”

As things stand, Saliba is yet to make his first-team Arsenal debut. He made the bench against Liverpool in the Community Shield once, and against Leicester City in the EFL Cup.

But other than that, he didn’t get close to the senior squad whilst at Arsenal.

Instead, Saliba has gone out on a couple of loan spells to OGC Nice and Marseille. He also spent a season on loan with Saint-Etienne, but that was always part of the plan when Arsenal signed him.

It’s the other two loan spells that have drawn more questions, particularly while the centre-back is performing so well. He made over 20 appearances for Nice in half a season, and he’s already just one away from double figures with Marseille.

Unlike some other Arsenal loanees, Saliba has had regular minutes and plenty of praise wherever he’s gone. It would certainly be confusing if that didn’t lead to his integration next season.

Fabrizio Romano recently wrote that Arsenal are following William Saliba’s progress closely. The club are reportedly ‘really happy’ with the defender. The Gunners recently informed Saliba that they trust him 100% for the future.

Romano adds that Saliba joined Marseille to play a season as a starter, then he’ll be back in North London, seemingly ruling out a permanent deal with the Ligue 1 club.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.