William Saliba has said that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta judged him after just two and a half games. He said this in an interview with Top of the Foot, a podcast hosted by French radio station RMC.
Here is the English transcript from William Saliba’s interview on RMC:
“It is clear that so much has changed in the last year. When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change in my personal life as well.”
“He judged me on 2 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.”
The two games that Saliba played for Arsenal where Mikel Arteta watched the Frenchman was in two pre season friendlies against MK Dons in Milton Keynes and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in August.
The Frenchman was excluded from the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads this season and failed to make a single appearance for the first team. Arteta made it clear that he felt the 19-year-old needed another transitional year and some game time before making the step up with Arsenal.
A loan move to former club Saint-Etienne was on the cards at the end of the summer transfer window but that transfer fell through due to administrative challenges. He finally joined French side Nice on loan in the January transfer window.
Saliba has thrived at Nice and was recently named the French club’s Player of the Month. He is forging a great partnership with Jean-Clair Todibo who joined Nice on loan from Barcelona. The Frenchman put in an imperious performance in his side’s 3-0 win over Angers on Sunday.