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Saliba: ‘I would have at least liked to have had a chance’

Sat 09 January 2021 | 7:44

William Saliba believes he should have offered an opportunity to prove himself as Arteta had claimed that he was not ready.

Arsenal

defender

William Saliba

completed a loan move to

Ligue 1

club

Nice

earlier this week and made his debut in the game against Brest on Wednesday.

He signed his deal at Arsenal in 2019 but he has not yet made an appearance for the club and has spent last season on loan with Saint-Etienne.

Arsenal manager

Mikel Arteta

believed that he was not ready for first-team football, but Saliba has a different opinion as he thinks he should have been given at least a chance to prove Arteta wrong.

“The coach immediately told me that I was not ready. I would have at least liked to have had a chance to rediscover my rhythm,” he said.

“My first six months were difficult because I was coming from six months where I wasn’t able to train because I was at home and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play.

“I arrived there as they were finishing the league season, so I was training alone. As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.”

His loan deal at Nice could also be extended from six to 18 months.

“I have signed a six-month contract. After these six months, we will see what happens. But for now, I have signed for six months, I am going to give my all, and then we will see,” he said.

He added: “What’s for sure is that I was coming from Arsenal U23s, and what is for sure is that the rhythm at professional level and U23 level is not the same,” he explained. “I wanted to play and I trained so hard at Arsenal, that’s why the coach put me in directly on Wednesday. But certainly, I had not played for a while and that has done me good.

“Even though I’m young, I’ve come to be a leader.”


source: SportMob