‘He judged me on two-and-a-half matches’

William Saliba has again been critical of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after leaving the club on loan.

Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne for €30 million in 2019 when Unai Emery was in charge but failed to play a single minute for the club, spending last season back at St Etienne on loan.

– Olley: Why have Arsenal sent Saliba on loan?

He returned to Ligue 1 with Nice in January, on a temporary deal for the remainder of the 2020-21 season, and has expressed his dissatisfaction at not being given a chance to prove himself in the Premier League.

“It is clear that so much has changed in the last year,” the 19-year-old, who won Nice’s player of the month award for January, told RMC Sport.

“When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change. He [Arteta] judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready.

“I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that. When I initially came to Arsenal the league looked very good, so I showed up to training and wanted to train on my own to show the coach I was ready.

“I am happy now. I want to play for Nice. The idea when you are part of a team is a better feeling for me.”

During an interview with Telefoot at the end of January, Saliba said: “I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for €30 million, to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves, play zero, zero, nothing in the Europa League or the league.”

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