William Saliba has confirmed he will be returning to Arsenal this summer, with Marseille now set to miss out on a loan transfer extension for the Frenchman.
Arsenal sent Saliba out on loan for the third time since signing him from Saint-Etienne in 2019 last summer as Marseille snapped him up on a season-long deal.
The 21-year-old played a key role in helping the club finish second in Ligue 1 last term and subsequently expressed his desire to stay at Stade Velodrome to play Champions League football, but has now performed a U-turn on his future.
What has Saliba said about Arsenal?
Saliba won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award while earning a spot in the French national team squad as a result of his stellar performances for Marseille, and is eager to transfer that form to Emirates Stadium.
The centre-half has yet to make a competitive appearance for Arsenal but he is determined to force his way into Mikel Arteta's plans.
"I belong to Arsenal, and I still have two years there. I will be there for pre-season with Arsenal," Saliba has told
"J'appartiens à Arsenal, il me reste encore deux ans. Je serais à la reprise avec Arsenal. J'ai fait zéro match et j'ai quand même envie de leur montrer mon vrai visage et d'avoir la chance de jouer pour ces supporters et ce grand club."— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) June 5, 2022
Saliba sur son avenir @JulienMaynard pic.twitter.com/PpkmH8k1Va
"I have played zero matches with Arsenal and I want to show them what I’m made of and have the chance to play for the supporters and for this big club.
"That depends only on me. In any case, leaving (Arsenal) like that would be a shame.”
What has Arteta said about Saliba?
Arteta has always been confident about Saliba returning to the Emirates and believes his experience in Marseille will hold him in good stead for the 2022-23 campaign.
The Arsenal boss has no regrets over his initial decision to give the green light for the France international's temporary switch to Marseille, despite seeing his side miss out on a top-four Premier League finish in 2021-22.
“We made the right decision," Arteta said last month. "He has to come back. He has the experience necessary to be competitive with us.
“If he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League match a week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn't have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that's for sure.
“For his growth and what he can do next season that wouldn't have been good. William wasn't with us because he wouldn't have had the playing time to gain experience. That's it, there's nothing else."
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