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‘I want to play in the Champions League’: Arsenal loanee William Saliba says he wants to stay at Marseille rather than return to the Emirates
- William Saliba has yet to play a game for Arsenal since he joined back in 2019
- He has enjoyed a successful season out on loan at French side Marseille
- The defender was recently crowned as Ligue 1’s young player of the year
Arsenal have been dealt another blow with highly rated loanee William Saliba saying he wants to stay in France with Marseille after they secured qualification for the Champions League.
Marseille thrashed Strasbourg 4-0 on the final day to pip Monaco to second place and finish runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking after Marseille’s emphatic win on Saturday, Saliba said: ‘I want to come back and play the Champions League. I have never played in it and I want to discover it here.’
William Saliba would rather prolong his stay in France than return to Arsenal for next season
Saliba joined Arsenal in 2019 for £27million but has yet to play a game for the Gunners.
The 21-year-old spoke out about his future during a ceremony in Paris on Sunday, where he was given the award for young player of the 2021-22 season.
He said: ‘It’s an honour, a source of pride. I dedicate this trophy to my team-mates, my club and the supporters.
‘Did I play my last match with Olympique de Marseille? I don’t know. The future will tell us.
‘The most important thing is to confirm this good season by qualifying for the Champions League. Afterwards, we’ll see.’
The defender has clearly made a positive impression at Marseille, with manager Jorge Sampaoli recently revealing that he would be keen to keep hold of the 21-year-old.
Saliba picked up the award for young player of the season after his fine performances
He told reporters: ‘William’s progress is linked to his development this season and the maturity he now has and his playing time.
‘He is now consistent, he’s grown up as a player. In relation to his situation at the club, I hope that there is a possibility for us to retain a player like him, who knows the team.
‘But I don’t know if it depends on OM, William or Arsenal. I don’t know the possibilities in this case.’
If he were to return to Arsenal, he would be in direct competition with Gabriel and Ben White for a place in the starting line-up.