Arsenal defender William Saliba has revealed Mikel Arteta attempted to recall him from his loan weeks after replacing Unai Emery.
The 19-year-old was signed by the Gunners in the summer of 2019, before being sent back on loan to St Etienne for the duration of the 2019-20 season.
Unfortunately, Saliba struggled for game time back in France, before Ligue 1 was prematurely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That lack of football meant that Arteta was unwilling to offer him a chance instead leaving him out of his squads for the opening months of the season.
William Saliba’s chances at Arsenal were limited to the Papa John’s Trophy with the U23s
(Image: Getty Images)
Saliba completed a loan move to Nice in the January window, where he will hope to force his way into Arteta’s plans for next term.
But in a candid interview, the centre back has claimed the Gunners tried to cut his last loan spell short and didn’t expect to be given such short shirft on his return.
“[Arsenal] wanted me to come back in January , I didn’t, I stayed in St Étienne,” he told L’Equipe via GFFN.
Saliba has won player of the month for Nice in January
“After that, the fans were really looking forward to my arrival, I certainly didn’t imagine that it would happen like this.
“Aside from that, it is football, I have learned that nothing is certain, you can be there, in your game, and then things can go south. I took a lot of experience from it, at least I will be ready for the future.”
His return to France has got off to the best possible start, winning the Ligue 1 club’s player of the month for January.
Saliba has made six appearances for Nice since his arrival
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
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