Arsenal loanee hailed as “a future great” by manager of current club

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Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli has waxed lyrical about Arsenal loanee William Saliba.

Saliba was expected to stay at Arsenal for the 2021/22 campaign, but was sent out on loan once again, with Mikel Arteta seemingly not having found a spot for him in the first-team squad.

A loan spell at Marseille is not a bad contingency plan at all, with Saliba having been heavily involved alongside Gunners teammate Mateo Guendouzi in the Ligue 1 giants’ early-season form.

Marseille have four wins and a draw on the board after five games played and currently look like the side most capable of pushing Paris Saint-Germain all the way for the league title.

Saliba has had his role to play this season to date and that will likely be the case throughout the campaign, with manager Jorge Sampaoli very happy to have the 20-year-old at the club.

Arsenal loanee William Saliba in action for Marseille against Rennes
Arsenal loanee William Saliba in action for Marseille against Rennes

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Sampaoli spoke highly of Saliba at a recent press conference, as quoted by local publication RMC Sport and helpfully translated into English by Sport Witness:

“He’s a top player at his position. We were lucky to get him on loan, it wasn’t 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.”

Saliba’s decision to head out on loan will be justified if Marseille are able to challenge for the honours on offer in France this term, because Arsenal have virtually no chance of doing that in England.

All due respect to the Gunners, you sense that the club is a rather toxic and complicated place to operate at current. Saliba can count himself lucky that he’s not being exposed to it.

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