William Saliba hails “best match of my career” to give Arsenal food for thought

William Saliba has headed out on loan once again to France and impressed for Marseille against PSG as Mikel Arteta takes a long-term view to his Arsenal future

The young defender has left on loan once again

William Saliba believes he played the “best match of my career” in Marseille’s draw with PSG on Sunday.

The Arsenal defender has headed to the Stade Velodrome on loan for the season having spent last year at Nice.

A lack of opportunities at the Emirates have seen him return to his homeland, where he is highly-regarded, with the Gunners keen for him to see regular action.

And at the weekend Saliba kept out the likes of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in the south of France.

PSG had won nine of their ten Ligue 1 games heading into Le Classique but were forced to settle for a point in a goalless draw.

Achraf Hakimi was dismissed in the second-half, but that didn’t stop the Parisians looking for a winner as they game went on.

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William Saliba was able to keep Kylian Mbappe and co scoreless

“It was the best match of my career. It was a very, very good game,” Saliba told Le Parisien.

“After the red card we wanted to bring home the three points, we tried, but at the end even with ten men they managed to pass the ball around, they have the best players in the world.

“We have a few regrets but we’ve still come back with a solid point, it’s not that bad. We lack some efficiency.

“We gave a good account of ourselves, we fought until the end, and because of the atmosphere it was the most beautiful match of my career.”

Saliba was signed by Mikel Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery but immediately loaned back to Saint Etienne.

His current boss at Marseille, Jorge Sampaoli, has made the 20-year-old a regular on the Cote d’Azur. The Argentine has even hailed Saliba as a “future great of French football”.

Arsenal though is where the centre-half’s long-term future lies if Arteta’s comments are to be believed.

The Spaniard has signed Gabriel and Ben White in successive summers and the pair have formed a first-choice partnership at the heart of defence, impressing together of late.

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Saliba’s minutes were always going to be compromised as a result and Arteta claims that is one of the motivations behind sending him out on loan.

He said in the summer: “I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.

“But a lot of things have happened to him he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.”

Arsenal have only kept three clean sheets in their nine Premier League games.

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