WILLIAM SALIBA took another swipe at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, saying the Spaniard judged him on just ‘two-and-a-half games’.
The French defender – signed by Unai Emery in 2019 – added he is enjoying being part of a team after joining Nice on loan.
William Saliba reckons Mikel Arteta judged him on just two-and-a-half matches at ArsenalCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Outcast Saliba, 19, was left ‘hurt’ when he did not get a look in during the first six months of his life at the Emirates after returning from a loan at Saint-Etienne last season.
But he is flourishing in life back in France again – and was named Nice’s player of the month for January.
The centre-back told 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.
“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.”
One of the matches Arteta may have judged Saliba on was the Arsenal Under-21s clash against AFC Wimbledon, when he was sent off for a wild lunge.
Saliba did not help himself by writing on Instagram he was ‘locked up’ like Matteo Guendouzi.
That led to ex-Saint Etienne team-mate Wesley Fofana commenting his pal was ‘finally free’ when he signed for Nice last month.
Speaking about his defender’s situation in October, Arteta said: “I feel really bad for William Saliba.
“Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.
“We don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play.
“But when you make those decisions, you can’t always think about every possible outcome.”
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The centre-back joined Nice on loan for the rest of the season and was named January player of the monthCredit: Getty Images – Getty