William Saliba caught the eye with a fantastic last-man tackle as Marseille kept a clean sheet in a draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
Arsenal loanee William Saliba has had a strong spell back in France so far, but he faced one of the biggest tests of his season this weekend as Marseille hosted PSG.
Saliba was starting at right-centre-back in a back four against a PSG front four of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Angel Di Maria. There was no doubt they were going to give him plenty to do.
For the most part, the 20-year-old did very well. There were one or two shaky moments, but Saliba was strong in the duels, confident in possession, and he made a couple of vital defensive interventions.
The headline incident for Saliba came when Messi played a through ball to Mbappe on the counter. The young forward appeared to be racing through on goal, but Saliba kept up alongside him just long enough to put in an excellent sliding tackle.
Saliba 🛑🛑🛑🛑🛑 pic.twitter.com/ZbG6sGL5eV
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) October 25, 2021
It was another big moment for Saliba on loan. The main aim for this year was that he’d play regularly, which he has, making 12 starts already.
But there’s also the occasional opportunity to test himself against world-class players, and it’s a test he passed on Sunday.
Saliba will remain with Marseille until the end of the season, with French journalists shooting down any possibility of Arsenal recalling him in January.
Julien Maynard of Telefoot claims Saliba will stay with the Ligue 1 club until “at least” the end of the season.
It’s worth mentioning that Fabrizio Romano recently suggested that the move to Marseille will only last until the end of the campaign at most. He reported that Arsenal trust the centre-back “100%” for the future and “he’ll be back” in the summer.
Along with Bukayo Saka, William Saliba made the Golden Boy 20-man shortlist this year. Marseille teammate Dimitri Payet told the media that he doesn’t understand why Saliba hasn’t played more for Arsenal, given his performances on loan so far.