Premier League • England

William Saliba outlines Arsenal ambition after giving honest opinion on club’s loan decisions

William Saliba of Arsenal

William Saliba has reflected on why his time away from Arsenal on loan was the right option, explaining how he feels to be back at the club.

This season is proving to be the one in which Saliba can finally make a name for himself at Arsenal. He was signed by the club in 2019, but was still awaiting his debut for the club by the summer.

After enduring loan spells with Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille, the defender was finally deemed ready for the Premier League before the start of the 2022-23 season.

He has picked up from where he left off with Marseille upon his return to Arsenal. So far this season, Saliba has been ever-present in the Premier League. Starting all seven matches so far, he has quickly settled in.

There was a time not so long ago when it was feared that Arsenal’s original investment in Saliba might come to nothing. His performances with Marseille last season earned him plenty of admirers.

It put Arsenal in a situation where they knew they would have to use him regularly to keep him happy. Now, he is repaying their faith after all.

However, Saliba does not seem to think there have been any wrong choices with his development, despite the long wait for his Arsenal breakthrough.

In an interview with Canal +, the centre-back has highlighted his ambition with Arsenal, without forgetting how important his time in Ligue 1 has been.

“I came back here to win so it’s nice to start the season well,” he told Canal +.

“We had a very good start to the season until the Manchester game, but we’re still top.

“From a personal point of view, it was better for me to go on loan to play, make mistakes, learn. I came back stronger and with new ambitions.

“These experiences have shown me that football is complicated, but that you should never give up and believe in yourself.”

Saliba now taksed with maintaining Arsenal form

Saliba is under contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2024. Perhaps some time soon, Arsenal might have to show further belief in him by renewing those terms.

But with his performances so far for the early table toppers in the Premier League, the 21-year-old would be earning whatever reward comes his way.

Would he have got to this stage without his three loan spells back in his native France? Well, the latter with Marseille also allowed him to become a full international; he is currently on duty for their UEFA Nations League commitments in the September international break, after originally debuting back in March. So, the benefits of his time there were clear.

Arsenal’s decision making with Saliba may have raised eyebrows at some point. But the important thing now is that he is contributing for them in a developing team.

The challenge for Saliba now is to maintain his form across the whole campaign. After a busy spell with Marseille in 2021-22, there is evidence to suggest he can remain consistent.

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