Arsenal defender William Saliba has revealed his determination to finally prove himself at the Emirates Stadium.
The French centre-back enjoyed a very productive loan spell at Marseille last season as he helped his temporary employers reach the semi-final of he Europa Conference League and secure a second placed finish in Ligue 1.
The season also proved to be a success from a personal point of view after Saliba was named as the division’s Young Player of the Year and he earned his first senior France caps during friendlies against Ivory Coast and South Africa.
Marseille are reportedly keen on securing the defender for another season-long loan and a number of Premier League clubs are also monitoring his situation.
However, he looks set to be handed a chance to show Mikel Arteta what he can offer after the Gunners boss revealed his stance on the defender’s future.
Speaking recently, he said: “He has to come back. He has the experience and the environment necessary to be competitive with us.
“If he had stayed with us this year, with a match of Premier League 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.”
Saliba has reacted to those comments and confirmed he will return to Arsenal in pre-season as he looks to earn a chance to make his first competitive Gunners appearance since joining the club in a reported £27million deal from Saint-Etienne in July 2019.
“I belong to Arsenal, and I still have two years there,” Saliba told TF1.
“I will be there for pre-season with Arsenal. 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.”