‘Future great’ William Saliba stopped PSG stars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, opened up on Arsenal future and admits he’d be happy to stay at Marseille

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William Saliba is undoubtedly one of the hottest young talents in European football.

After completing a move to Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for a fee in the region of £ 27million, supporters were excited at the prospect of seeing him realize his potential at the Emirates.

Saliba is currently starring on loan with Marseille

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Saliba is currently starring on loan with Marseille

Unfortunately, fans are yet to see the starlet in action as he has failed to make a single first-team appearance for the Gunners.

That certainly does not mean that he hasn’t been attracting headlines in France, though.

After spending a season with Saint-Etienne following the completion of his move to London, Saliba spent six months on loan with Nice during the 2020/21 campaign.

After making 22 appearances for the club, the central defender headed back to France once again last summer on a season-long loan deal to join Marseille.

As well as making 40 appearances for the club and earning his first senior call up to the France national team, Saliba put in an eye-catching display in Le Classique back in October.

Facing up against rivals Paris Saint-Germain, the defender saw his side to a 0-0 draw over the French giants, as he helped shut out Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.


Marseille's Sampaoli is famously hard to please, but heaped praise on Saliba

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Marseille’s Sampaoli is famously hard to please, but heaped praise on Saliba

This included a last-gasp goal-saving challenge to deny Mbappe from close range, leading to special praise from Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli.

“He’s a top player at his position,” Sampaoli said.

“We were lucky to get him on loan, it was not simple. He’s great at marking, but good bringing the ball out too.

“He’s a future great of French football, he’s very good at starting plays.”

Having seen his impressive displays from a distance, Arsenal fans are undoubtedly ready to see the player challenging for a spot in Mikel Arteta’s side.

While Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes have the central defensive positions locked down right now, there’s no question that the French starlet has the quality and challenge for a spot in the team in the long run, but does he want to?

Arteta will surely be keen to welcome Saliba into Arsenal's first team fold next term

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Arteta will surely be keen to welcome Saliba into Arsenal’s first team fold next term

Saliba has discussed his future and even hinted at a potential stay with French side Marseille.

“I’ve never hidden the fact that I feel good here,” Saliba told RMC Sport. “But I do not know my future.

“There are two months left [of the season] and the most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and to go as far as possible in the [Europa] Conference League.

“I think there will be discussions between Arsenal and Marseille at the end of May or the beginning of June. That’s when we will decide.

Saliba has already suggested that he'd be open to staying with Marseille

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Saliba has already suggested that he’d be open to staying with Marseille

“For sure, though, staying here [with Marseille] would not be a bad idea – on the contrary. I know the city, my team-mates, my coach… but it’s not just up to me. ”

Responding to a claim that Marseille would want him to stay, Saliba responded: “Yes, that’s it, but we’ll see how it goes.

“It depends on whether Arsenal agree. We’ll see. ”

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