William Saliba claims he was unfairly judged by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal

William Saliba says he was not judged fairly by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal
William Saliba says he was not judged fairly by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal (BPI/REX)

William Saliba has suggested that he was written off too quickly by Mikel Arteta and believes the Arsenal manager judged him ‘on two-and-a-half games’.

The 19-year-old joined the Gunners in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne but after making the move to England last summer, the young defender failed to make a first-team appearance under Arteta.

The Arsenal manager claimed that Saliba needed to underdo a ‘transition’ period in order to become a first-team regular.

And last month Arteta gave the green light for Saliba to join Nice on loan for the remainder of the season.

‘It’s clear that a lot has changed in the last year,’ Saliba told RMC.

‘When I saw the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change.

William Saliba is spending the rest of the season on loan at Nice
William Saliba is spending the rest of the season on loan at Nice (AFP via Getty)

‘He judged me on two-and-a-half games. I would have liked for him [Arteta] 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.’

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