William Saliba has decided to reveal the unfair treatment he got from coach Mikel Arteta at Arsenal at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season. The 19-year-old center-defender revealed that Mikel Arteta did not give him enough opportunity to prove himself at the Premier League club.
William Saliba joined Arsenal on July 25, 2019, from Saint-Étienne for a transfer fee worth €30million. Immediately he was announced as Arsenal’s player, he returned to the French club on loan.
Afterward, he returned to Arsenal ahead of the 2020-2021 season. When he got back to Arsenal, the best Mikel Arteta did for him was to move him to Arsenal’s youth team where he made 6 Premier League 2 appearances.
William Saliba was given the chance to play with Arsenal’s senior team in the EFL Cup. Mikel Arteta featured him in two EFL Cup games in which he played a total of 179 minutes of football.
It became obvious that the 19-year-old French star was not a part of Mikel Arteta’s plans when the Spanish coach decided not to register him for the 2020-2021 Europa League campaign.
Hence, William Saliba who believes that he is ready to play regularly decided to leave the club on loan when OGC Nice shown interest in him. He left Arsenal during the January transfer window.
Since he joined the French club on a 6-month loan deal, he has played 7 Ligue 1 games in which he helped Nice to record two victories and two clean sheets.
In an interview with RMC Sport recently, William Saliba lamented that coach Mikel Arteta judged him after two and a half matches. He stressed how he wanted more games under the Spanish coach but the coach kept telling him that he wasn’t ready.
While narrating how he waited for a chance, William Saliba noted that he is happy at his new club and wants to play for the French club.
“It is clear that so much has changed in the last year,” Saliba said. “When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change. He [Arteta] 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.”
William Saliba was hurt at Arsenal
Before William Saliba granted the trending interview, he has earlier granted an interview after his loan move to OGC Nice where he said he was hurt at Arsenal due to lack of game time. He noted how he wouldn’t have believed it if he was told that when he joined Arsenal he would not have a regular game time.
Hence, the French youngster told TF1 that he does not know what the future holds for him after his 6 months loan at Nice, noting that he is “focused on just these six months to try to give absolutely everything and for the rest, we will see.”
“I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for €30m and to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me and the fans were excited about me, and you find yourself in the reserves, play zero, zero nothing in the Europa League or the league”, he added. “I was in the squad once in the League Cup.
“It hurt me, it affected me. I don’t think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. I don’t think I left too early. These things happen. I believe in myself.”