William Saliba’s former Saint-Etienne teammate insists he’ll succeed at Arsenal despite struggles

William Saliba Arsenal Training Session
The young defender has failed to make an impression at the north London club (Picture: Getty)

William Saliba’s former Saint-Etienne teammate has backed the teenage defender to be a success at Arsenal despite an inauspicious start to life with the north London club.

The 19-year-old was signed back in 2019 and immediately loaned back to the French club, where he impressed, and he was expected to compete for a place in the Arsenal backline this season.

However, he has not made a single matchday squad under Mikel Arteta and was left out of the Europa League squad list entirely.

William Saliba Arsenal Training Session
Saliba is not expected to play for Arsenal and will be loaned out in January (Picture: Getty)

Saliba appears unlikely to play anytime soon while a loan return back to Saint-Etienne fell through on deadline day at the last minute, with the Ligue 1 side blaming Arsenal in a frosty statement.

The French youngster now has the likes of David Luiz, summer signing Gabriel and even left-back Kieran Tierney ahead of him in the pecking order and will likely have to wait until January before he can secure a loan and some much-needed game time.

Now Saliba’s old Saint-Etienne teammate Harold Moukoudi has revealed that he spoke to Saliba after the loan collapsed and insists he will show his talent despite his current struggles at Arsenal.

‘Willow, I spoke to him. I told him to not get weighed down by it and to continue to work,’ Moukoudi told French outlet But! Football Club.

‘It will pay off. With his qualities, I’m convinced he’ll bounce back.

William Saliba Saint-Etienne Arsenal
Saliba had issues with Arsenal when he was refused to play in the French Cup final (Getty)

‘He’s got huge potential, no one can deny that. He needs to hang on, take it on the chin and sit tight, but he’ll succeed. That’s for sure.’

Saint-Etienne boss Claude Puel was livid when the loan deal for Saliba collapsed and recently criticised the club over their treatment of the centre-back.

He told L’Equipe: ‘It was short-term [thinking], even for the kids. A superb player like William, to whom I wish the best, has not even made it to Arsenal’s Europa League squad. Where is the logic, if not financial?’

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