William Saliba’s criticism of Mikel Arteta has become even clearer after it was decided that he would spend next season on loan at Marseille.
The 20-year-old defender is set to return to Ligue 1 after spending the second half of last term on a short-term deal with Nice.
Saliba was expected to be given a chance to impress with the Gunners this season, but does not appear to be in Arsenal boss Arteta’s plans.
And it has been confirmed by the club that he will return to France on another loan deal for the next 12 months.
Saliba is yet to make a senior appearance for Arsenal, and played in just two Football League Trophy games for the U23s side before being shipped off to Nice, where he impressed.
And the France youth international admitted he was frustrated with a lack of opportunities given to him by Arteta.
“He judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more,” he told RMC Sport earlier this year.
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“But he told me I wasn’t ready. I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that.”
Sending him out on loan again clearly suggests that Arteta does not yet fully trust Saliba, despite a lack of chances in an Arsenal shirt.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu has spoken out on the decision to loan out the defender.
He told the club’s official website : “Together with William, we have decided it will be good for his continued development to spend another season on loan.
“William joined us as an 18-year-old, and he is still only 20, so he is still developing all the time.
“William is a player with strong natural ability and next season has the potential to be really beneficial for him at Marseille, a good club.
“To play another season in Ligue 1 will be very important for his development.
“We will of course be keeping in close contact with William during the season and wish him all the best in France with Marseille.”
Arteta admitted that he was undecided on where Saliba would end up while discussing his future back in May.
He said: “You will see in the summer, the possible replacement.
“William is our player for sure and that’s the decision we’re going to be taking soon.
“When we finish the season we will sit down and discuss the roles of every member in our squad and how they can fulfil that role.
“He is our player so he’ll be back here for sure. After that, we will make a decision based on an agreement of the role each player is going to have in our squad.”