Arsenal loanee William Saliba started for Marseille in their 3-2 win over Montpellier at the Stade de la Mosson last night.
The young Frenchman is yet to be given a chance by Mikel Arteta in the Arsenal first team. That has constantly annoyed Gooners over the last 12 months, and the Gunners boss’ decision to loan him out again sparked more outrage.
However, the young defender revealed recently that it was a collective decision to go out on loan and that he was the one who chose Marseille, not Arteta or Edu or anyone else at the Emirates. (GFFN)
Arsenal loanee Saliba impresses for Marseille
Jorge Sampaoli handed Saliba his first start for Marseille in Ligue 1 last night. The Frenchman definitely had a few shaky moments in defensive positions, but he looked calm and composed on the ball, which is unsurprising.
At one point, he even charged down the right wing and showed incredible composure after getting into the box. Sadly, his brilliant cutback was blown over the bar by Dario Benedetto.
In his 90 minutes on the pitch, Saliba registered 78 touches of the ball and completed 61 out of his 64 attempted passes, maintaining a stunning 95% passing accuracy. He managed to register two key passes as well and created one big chance, which isn’t natural for a central defender. (SofaScore)
To add to the above, Saliba made seven clearances, more than any other player on the pitch. He passed the ball into the final third more times (13) than any of his Marseille teammates as well, which really is excellent. (Squawka)
However, there were clear signs yesterday that showed why Arteta feels he isn’t ready. There are things in his game, on the defensive side, that he needs to improve, and hopefully, he can do that at Marseille this season.
Here’s how a few Arsenal fans reacted to his performance