William Saliba joined French side Nice on loan in January after struggling toi break into Mikel Arteta’s plans at the Emirates Stadium
Defender William Saliba has hit out at Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during in an interview with the French media.
Saliba is currently back in his homeland after joining Ligue 1 side Nice on loan during the January transfer window.
After joining Arsenal in the summer of 2019, Saliba stayed in France for the duration of the 2019/20 season, as he continued to apply his trade with Saint Etienne on a season-long loan.
Saliba returned to the Emirates Stadium ahead of the start of this season with Gunners supporters expecting him to soon become a first-team regular in north London. Despite his potential, Arteta was reluctant to hand him the opportunity to prove himself in England, with him still awaiting his Gunners debut.
By the time the January transfer window came around, Arsenal made the decision that it would be in Saliba’s best interests to send him out on loan once again in an attempt to improve his abilities, although Arteta had previously admitted that the youngster had made “massive improvements.”
However, Saliba, who has racked up seven appearances for Nice so far, has now issued a greater insight into the discussions that went on between himself and Arteta, revealing that he had seen a “change” in the Arsenal boss.
“It is clear that so much has changed in the last year,” Saliba told RMC. “When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change.
“He judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready.
“I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that. When I initially came to Arsenal the league looked very good so I showed up to training and wanted to train on my own to show the coach I was ready.
“I am happy now, I want to play for Nice. The idea when you’re part of a team is a better feeling for me.”
Despite a lot of Arsenal fans having been keen to see Saliba don a Gunners shirt and prove himself to Arteta in the Premier League, some supporters have had a change of heart following the Frenchman’s latest interview.
Numerous Gunners fans have taken to social media to express their disappointments with the defender’s comments. Here, football.london has taken a close look at what some fans have had to say.
Arsenal fans have had their say on matters concerning William Saliba’s future.
Having impressed so much for Saint-Etienne during the 2019/20 campaign, most people expected Saliba to quickly nail down a place in Arteta’s defensive line, especially when centre-back troubles have plagued Arsenal over the last few seasons.
However, the nearest the 19-year-old has come to making his Gunners debut was when he was named amongst the substitutes for the FA Community Shield win over Liverpool at Wembley and against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup in September.
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