William Saliba says he is “very proud” to have joined Marseille at the start of his third loan at Arsenal.
Saliba, 20, marked a change of season for the Ligue 1 club after spending the second half of the 2020/21 campaign in Nice.
The center-back joined the Gunners on a £ 27million transfer from Saint-Etienne in 2019 and was immediately loaned to his native France.
Saliba is yet to make his senior debut with Arsenal and has yet to make a first-team part with Mikel Arteta.
Still, the young man is in a good mood after temporarily joining one of the giants of European football.
“I am very proud to join one of the best French clubs”,
Saliba said on the Marseille official website: “I can’t wait to be on the Orange Vélodrome pitch. Where I come from in Paris, many of my relatives are from Marseille, I am proud to wear this jersey.”
Saliba is finding familiar faces in Marseille, as Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has also been loaned out, and France international Boubacar Kamara is in the club’s accounts. The former Saint-Etienne star likes the prospect of meeting the rest of the squad, adding: “I know Matteo, Bouba.
“I know them all, but they are the closest to me. I look forward to meeting my new teammates so that we can work together.
“When there is competition, it pushes us to do our best.”
Jorge Sampaoli played a key role in Saliba’s arrival at Marseille and the defender explained how he was won over by the vision of his new coach.
Saliba said: “We talked. He wanted me on his team. He explained that although he is now a good player, I have a lot to improve.”
“With him I will have the means to progress … His playing philosophy speaks to me. I can play four, right or left. As long as the team is good, I can play anywhere.”
Saliba is clearly happy to be loved by Sampaoli after expressing his frustration at the lack of opportunities with Arteta earlier this year.
“He (Arteta) judged me in two and a half games. I would like him to play more with me,” Saliba told RMC Sport.
“But he told me I wasn’t ready. I was hoping he would give me a chance, but that’s football.”
Saliba played two games with Arsenal’s Under-23s before joining Nice last season, when he represented France in the Under-20 category.