Saliba criticises Arteta over quick Arsenal judgment
William Saliba thinks Mikel Arteta was too quick to judge him before allowing him to leave Arsenal on loan in January.
Saliba joined Arsenal from St Etienne in July 2019, spending the 2019/20 season on loan at the club and he returned to France last month in a loan move to Nice.
The move is designed to give Saliba more playing time with his only two games this season for Arsenal coming in the EFL Trophy – and he was sent off against AFC Wimbledon in December.
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Saliba has already started seven matches for Nice since his move and the Frenchman thinks Arteta failed to give him a fair chance in the Arsenal first team.
Speaking to RMC‘s ‘Top of the Foot’ show, Saliba said: “It is clear that so much has changed in the last year.
“When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change. He judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him 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.”
Speaking after Saliba completed his move to Nice, Arteta said: “We signed a big project that we had some issues with because he hasn’t played enough football in the last eighteen months. At that age and in the development phase he is at that is crucial.
“And I was very conscious when he came back, when he didn’t do the step that he had to do before joining us that to start a relationship with a new manager, with a new club, with new team-mates in a situation where he is not having any game time it’s really difficult and I think it’s really damaging for the future.”