William Saliba is determined to prove he is capable of forging a career at Arsenal (Picture: Telefoot)
The 21-year-old joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne three years ago in a headline-grabbing £30million transfer, but is yet to make his competitive debut.
Upon taking over from Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta deemed the centre-half not ready for the rigours of English football and has sent the defender out on loan twice over the course of the last two-and-a-half years.
After impressing at Nice, Saliba looked destined to be given an opportunity last season, but a lack of European football, allied to the arrival of Ben White in a £50m deal, saw Arteta opt to farm Saliba out on loan again, this time to Marseille.
Saliba enjoyed a highly successful season at OM and helped Jorge Sampaoli’s side secure Champions League football, while he was named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.
The lure of Europe’s elite club competition led Saliba to suggest last month that he wanted to remain at Marseille, but Arteta insisted the plan was always to give the player an opportunity to impress at Arsenal.
And Saliba is now ready to accept the challenge of proving himself to Arteta and force his way into his manager’s plans for next season.
Speaking to Telefoot, the France international defender said: ‘I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left.
‘I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.
‘But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.’
More to follow…