William Saliba says he’s disappointed that he couldn’t play in the French cup final, but insists he’s looking forward to his career at Arsenal despite missing out on such a big game.
Saint-Etienne take on PSG tomorrow, with the 19 year old in attendance to cheer on his former club, and he says he’ll be emotional at the occasion as he bids farewell to his former team.
Speaking to L’Equipe (via GFFN), he said, “I couldn’t miss this. As I am not able to play, I want to at least feel this final as much as possible, by supporting my team in the stadium.
“In front of the TV, it would not be the same. It was important for me to be there, hoping to see Les Verts win. It will also allow me to say goodbye to my teammates properly, because I left like I was a robber.”
He obviously hoped to play the game, but despite negotiations between the Gunners and the Ligue 1 outfit, nothing came to fruition.
“It would have been my first final, my second year as a professional,” he said.
“Of course I hope to play other finals, but you are never sure of anything. On top of that, it would have been my last match with the club that formed me. I hoped, hoped. Truly.
“Even when it became impossible. The two clubs did everything for me to play. But they did not reach an agreement. I was very disappointed.”
Still, concerns that it might affect his relationship with Arsenal seem wide of the mark, and he sounds enthusiastic about his decision to join and get started in the Premier League.
“I fell for Arsenal from the start,” said Saliba. “A number of French players have been there.
“Arsenal has not been at the top of its game for the last three, four years. But, like St Étienne, its badge, its history and its fans made me want it. I have a crush on Arsenal. I had no hesitation.
“I am discovering another world.”
Saliba has been training at London Colney over the last couple of week as Arsenal try to get him over the injury issues he’s had ahead of next season. Let’s hope that despite the differences between the two clubs, Saint-Etienne can stick it to the noxious PSG in the final tomorrow.
Allez les Verts!