Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Saliba: I pushed for Marseille move

William Saliba says he pushed for a move to Marseille and is looking forward to using his year at the Stade Velodrome to progress his game.

Most Arsenal supporters had expected the France under-21 international to be integrated into Mikel Arteta’s first team squad this summer but the Gunners were quick to decide he should garner more experience elsewhere.

Having embarked on loan spells with former club Saint Etienne and with an impressive half-season at Nice under his belt, Saliba had a number of suitors, including sides in England.

Ultimately, he settled on a return to his homeland and he’s now set to make his competitive debut for Les Olympiens on Sunday when they start their Ligue 1 campaign at Montpellier.

“Marseille is one of the best clubs in France with a lot of support in Marseille and across France,” he said in a press conference on Thursday. “You have to sweat in the jersey when you’re here.

“I spoke with the coach and the president [before deciding on the loan]. I was convinced. For a young person like me, it’s good to come here to improve.

“I chose Marseille because it is the right choice. I pushed to come here. We will see what will happen next season.

“I’m young, I’m 20, I haven’t proven anything. I want to progress here.”

Pablo Longoria, president of Marseille, is obviously pleased at luring Saliba to the French Riviera.

“At the club, we took pleasure in making this transfer,” he said.

“William has extraordinary potential. He has all the qualities of a modern central defender. He has the ability to win duels, he has everything to succeed at a very high level.”

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evaristus asobara

Anụ kpam. Ya bu aha ọhụrụ Arteta kwesịrị i na-aza


English, please! Even though the blog is owned by an Irishman it is important that you write in English. By the way this Irishman has probably forgotten his mother tongue but is crazy about English. I hope you understand what I mean.

Nevertheless, talking about Saliba poor decision by Arteta. This man has decided the fate of a 20 year old without giving him a single EPL minute. #smh

P. S
I speak 4 languages, English is one of them and well I know my mother tongue very well – Japanese.


Is mála liathróid tú


This is irish and translates as “you ball bag”, I think anyway ha


Correctish! I was toying with the idea of describing in detail why us Irishmen might have “forgotten” our mother tongue, but decided that most people here wouldn’t give a shite and calling him a ballbag in Irish just seemed more fun for me. Thanks for the translation by the way.

Frank Bascombe

Do you speak utter shit in all four?


It’s clear you do in one at least

Hakuna Matata

There is no japanese language. People in japan speak cantonese

Merlin’s Panini

Eh? No they don’t. Where did you pull that one out from?
They use Chinese kanji in writing but also have two alphabets of their own. Japanese is very much their own language.


Who remembers’Monkey’…?!

Great series. A wonderfully comedic imported story of ancient China produced by Japanese. Dubbed for UK and Irish audiences of course.


Thanks for this info. However, the Japanese people seem to have missed your memo on speaking Cantonese, I’ll keep the Japanese Premier Mr. Xi informed – next thing you know, Seoul could be the headquarters of Japan, stay tuned!!!!

Bo Dacious

Well, not yet.

Johnny 4 Hats

Ah great, you managed to get the transcript from the recent Harry Kane interview.


Well done J4H. Top comment

Heavy Gunner

That was hilarious, Johnny!

Heavenly Chapecoense

I challenge him to understand the halftime pep talk from Spurs captain.


Hope you aren’t secretly trying to revive Anck Su Namun


“Idiot. That’s the name Arteta ought to be called (henceforth)”.


What language is it?

Naija gooner

Igbo, from South East, Nigeria

Teryima Adi

Igbo I guess. Not sure

Frank Bascombe

Not sure about that but it’ll do nicely for you.


The guy wrote in Igbo; one of the major languages of Nigeria

Heavenly Chapecoense

Even if it was a nigerian forum, he should have written in English out of respect for Nigerians who don’t speak Igbo. A Nigerian coming to Arseblog to speak to Nigerians only is massively rude.


COPY / PASTE GOOGLE…not rocket science…took you longer to bi*** about it

Teryima Adi

Spot on, Bro. Language is all about communicating. He should have spoken through an interpreter.😄

Bleeding gums murphy

Jeez you seem like a bitter man. Chill out. Don’t get so personal

Mayor McCheese

Huh? He’s an idiot for offering us a translation of the original comment?

How does that make sense, Frank?

Lord Bendnter

I can speak Chelshit, but I keep it within the bathroom

Karol Chren
translation: Meat completely. That is the new name Arteta you should answer
Kieran Tierney’s Tesco Bag

Eek barba durkle!

Teryima Adi



Is that phrase Igbo? Can you teach us some classic Nigerian phrases about football??

Diaby's Left Peg

I’d enjoy this as a feature. Classic / funny football phrases and idioms from Blog’s global community.

Announce Bendtner

I suspect that in a few years these loans will be seen as a master stroke by Arteta or a huge mistake in letting a world class talent getaway.

I hope it works out well for us and him. Here’s to hoping he has a great season.


my thoughts exactly, are we reading too much into this? is it just as simple as they really rate him but would love for him to get big game/team experience?
time will tell.

Johnny 4 Hats

Being a football fan is 80% reading between the lines of banal press conference utterings which are designed to be impossible to infer upon.


Sure, but being a football fan on the internet is 80% taking everything said in press conferences at face value [ignoring the reality that a manager is never going to just give away his strategy, or burn bridges by saying exactly what he thinks about every player].


and how many epl minutes does Ben White have under his belt?


Guarantee we sell him next year for a 10m loss. The bridges have been burned you don’t spend 3 years out of the side if the manager wants you.

Teryima Adi

I thought Courtois did exactly that at Atletico for two years while Cech was number one at Chelsea. The loans helped Courtois to develop. Let’s just hope this is Arteta’s plan.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Let’s hope if he becomes as good as we all hope, he’s already signed an extension and is still with us


Has he signed an extension already?

Heavenly Chapecoense

In France, all the pundits are praising Marseille for getting him. They’ve watched him play more than Arteta.

Disarmed Gunner

Arteta doesn’t do masterstrokes. Likely to cause strokes though.


As a Frenchman I’m not 100% sure about this choice. Marseille is a solid team and I think it will be good for him to try to succeed in the club. BUT, it’s also the most passionate fan base in France, and often the most toxic. A bit like real Madrid fans (or even Arsenal fans ?) they tend to be very agressive against their own players when they’re not as good as expected and can really ruin a player’s confidence.

Brazilian gooner

then it is a good test if he wants to make it here


Interesting he’s been so clear France was his demand, would have been nice to see him test himself in prem, I don’t get the point of going to Fr, we know he can play at that level.

Arsene's Champagne Football

Thanks! So for the young boy this maybe a good challenge. Let’s hope so, regardless where he ends up. He seems to be alright guy, not his fault that he’s not in London…


Good luck to Guendouzi then. Because we just know he’ll take the first sign of disproval from the crowd on the chin and soldier on like the professional he is.


Also, I thought I saw at the time it was announced that Marseille already have CBs — is it realistic to think he’ll get the same kind of minutes he got at Nice?


Yeah it’s weird they have more CBs than us! Guess he’s at least confident he’ll compete well with them.

Teta's cult of personality

Marseille are playing with a back 3 under Sampaoli(*3-4-2-1). Plus they have the Europa League (unlike us🙄). I think it’s realistic he’ll get a good number of minutes, certainly more than at Nice. He’s already featured quite a bit in their friendlies. I saw highlights of their 2-1 win against Villareal and he was there too. I tell you what, some of these friendlies being played haven’t been so friendly so far. Juan Foyth got sent off. Which led to Unai Emery (uncharacteristically) losing his cool and getting sent off. Emery also almost got into a fight with Jorge Sampaoli… Read more »


“Unai Emery (uncharacteristically) losing his cool and getting sent off. Emery also almost got into a fight with Jorge Sampaoli on the touchline”


Arteta-tinted Glasses

The best we can hope for Saliba now is that he does so well that PSG want him. That’s our money back guarantee.

Baichung Bhutia

I think if he does well at Marseille, he should be integrated into our first team and replace Holding.


YES ! Holding is solid, but if we are gonna get to top four then him and Mari will have to be upgraded at some point


Good job we just spent 50million on White then.


Yeah, but we need two strong players for each position to compete with Man City, Chelsea and Man U squads


I’ll never understand this stick Mari gets. He has always always been solid whenever he has played. Rarely makes mistakes that lead to goals. Rarely rash in his tackling. And he’s quite tidy in possession.

Gabriel, who gets praised a lot, misplaced pass after pass under zero pressure. Is prone to head-fuck tackling that leads to penalties.

I’ll never understand the appreciation of Gabriel and the derision shown to Mari. Is it because he’s slower?

Frank Bascombe

No. That’d be the internet fan base Jackie.


Agree with your comment but thumbing up for use of the word “derision”. Which for some reason I always associate with Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall”.


For me, yes. Only his speed.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Gabriel makes mistakes but he’s shown that he has enough about him, to be a top quality Arsenal defender for many years to come. Mari hasn’t shown that potential, and at his age, probably won’t improve enough to be more than a squad player

Teta's cult of personality

Uhhh sorry but this is just a wild and exaggerated take. Gabi and Mari have exactly the same number of penalties conceded – 1. The difference is that Leno saved his penalty against Chelsea and Mat Ryan didn’t do the same against Fulham. Hence why Gabi has 1 error leading to a goal and Mari has 0. In the Premier League, Gabi in 23 appearances has 0.18 bookings per 90 whilst Mari in 10 appearances has 0.2 bookings per 90. Likewise, Gabi has a 60% tackle success rate and Mari has a 58% tackle success rate. Gabi has 1 foul… Read more »


Those stats complement Mari quite well, I think that proves the point Jackie was saying. Mari gets a tougher ride from fans compared to Gabriel despite performing almost equally well.
I like them both but Gab is younger so has a higher limit he can reach. But Mari imo is a solid player and often calms the back line well

Teta's cult of personality

My point is just to highlight that Jackie’s claim that Gabi is somehow more rash and brain dead is simply just not true. Especially in regards to penalties given away.

The ironic thing is Gabi actually attempts less tackles per game than Mari and prefers to intercept more. From looking at their stats (and matches), I think Gabi is a proactive defender who suits a higher defensive line while Mari is a reactive defender who suits a low block.

All in all, the gap in technique and ability is a lot more narrower than Jackie is making out.


It speaks volumes of the players intentions that he had no desire to try and take a loan in the championship or somewhere in the English game. If he really wants to convince the management he’s ready to be a starting central defender in a Premier league team, then drifting around France, the same place we already know he can play, makes little to no contribution to that goal. No wonder Mike has felt the need to build his defence without relying on Saliba for the future. And I don’t subscribe to the notion that he should just be given… Read more »


The French league isn’t as bad as everyone makes out, I don’t agree with the notion that the championship is somehow a step up. Countless players have came from the French league and hit the ground running in the prem. I would argue Marseille, Lille, Monaco, Lyon, Rennes, maybe even Lens and Nice would cope easily against most prem teams outside the top 4. Saliba’s young, Marseille are a good team with a good set up, he’ll get to play in Europe. I don’t see the issue but maybe I’m in the minority or just plain wrong here. That being… Read more »


A theory. He’s given up any ideas of playing in the PL, be that for us or anyone else, and is quite happy to trundle along in France until his contract with us expires. Come the day he’s a free agent with a proven ability in Ligue 1 and in a strong position to negotiate a lucrative deal with one of the French top clubs.


Yeah, I think he’s pretty much burnt his bridges with Arsenal. I’d imagine we’ll try and sell next season.


“ If he really wants to convince the management he’s ready to be a starting central defender in a Premier league team, then drifting around France, the same place we already know he can play, makes little to no contribution to that goal.”

Counterpoint: plenty of people have come straight over from the french league and done well, including Saliba’s onetime CB partner Fofana.


@Joe: Fair point, though a consistent theme that many managers and players have expressed is the difference in intensity between the leagues. And since the management seem to have some doubts about his ability to cope with the game here, you’d think you’d do all you can to alleviate them, if you want to break through. You have to convince the right people if you want them to take a chance on you, everywhere in life, rightly or wrongly! @Kris: Good point about Europe. Let’s just hope he will claim a consistent starting place on loan, so he can get… Read more »


I guess Newcastle were among the teams who tried to sign him on loan … But why should he sign for them when your manager tells you that you’re not ready for the league??


To be fair, I’m not sure why you’d look to play in the second tier of English football when you’ve got the opportunity to play for a top class French side who have qualified for Europe. If Marseille are able to contend at the top of Ligue 1 and have a run in the Europa with Saliba core to the team, it’s hard to argue that isn’t a very helpful loan spell for a young centre half.


Your mate ‘Mike’…..?



Who can blame him? He has been treated poorly, to put it mildly. I suspect he could return for a proper chance once Arteta has found his way to a club closer to his level of experience and ability as a manager.

Rens Bakker

Treated poorly for not being trusted in our team as a 19 and 20 year old? Nothing wrong with sending him out on loan a couple times to gain more experience. Look at the total amount of professional games he played in his career. Only bad thing is that he didn’t went on loan from the start last season, which was not because they didn’t want to send him on loan or to bully him. So the only actual ‘mildly said’ poor treatment is not letting him play the cup final


Wesley Fofana.

Dublin Gooner

His loan term expired before the cup final. There would have been a financial cost to Arsenal if he had played and St Etienne weren’t willing to waive that. Plus, if memory serves, wasn’t he just coming back from injury?


I find this Arteta bashing odd. For the first time in 10 years or so there is evidence of clarity of thought and an actual strategy at the club, there was tangible improvement last season, the personnel clearly needs to be improved and that’s happening, what’s the problem? Saliba, Pepe etc were signed by the previous regime in curious deals, the club can’t revolve around a 20 yr old who wants to play in France, why does Arteta get it in the neck for having to deal with incumbent baggage?


Finishing 8th. Twice.

Yeah, there’s some clarity of thought there.


Willian. That’s some strategy alright as well 🙂


You can’t blame the lad. I hope he does well there and is able to start enjoying his football again. Words fail me when I think of how shoddily this has all been handled.

Another Arteta cock up to add to the collection.

El Mintero

Says the guy who called for Saliba to be thrown out the club and never wear the jersey again after the video brouhaha earlier this year…hmm.




I refer you to the answer above.

I’m accountable for my comments, pal.


Just shows I’m willing to forgive and forget – unlike a few of you on here.


Arteta will come good this season. Rember you heard it here first.




Imagine laughing at the idea that the manager of Arsenal will be successful… Are you sure you wouldn’t be more welcome down the road mate?

I get that you don’t like him, I think everyone understands that by now. But I’ll take this guys optimism over your apparent desire to see us fail so you can say “I told you so” any day.


Perhaps I’m just an old scote who’s been around the Highbury block a few more times than the average punter, but given that we currently have Arsenal’s worst manager since Billy Wright (look him up) at the helm, I’ll take a realistic approach to our pitiful chances this season rather than your increasingly tedious naivety.


Is Saliba part of the “puppy fat” that Tim Stillman referred to? Unfortunately the present AFC problems are mainly caused by an excess of old, tough, inedible, overpaid & unsaleable old has beens.


If Saliba is puppy fat then Willian is the older gentleman beer and pie gut.


Wasting another year at OM with their collection of CB’s on their books already. I thought AFC would have the last say on where their player goes on loan. Should be in the prem or championship getting minutes. Unless the plan is raise his profile enough to get most of the money dodgy Raul splashed out on him.


Mmmm. User Eats.

Thierry Ennui

Let’s hope he doesn’t spend the whole year doing McDelivery!!


A talented young player who could had been playing at the top club….. I guess arteta thinks the same way as i do…. Saliba is a top player who should play for top clubs only n ARSENAL isn’t top club anymore( i think ARSENAL is still one of the best club in europe but with a manager who’s more egoistic than the person i’ve ever known).. arteta thinks he is not ready for the premier league and yet he sends him to ligue 1 for two seasons….. He had already proved that he is a good defender in ligue 1… Read more »


Agree with you though this book you wrote is almost impossible to go through…


On a related matter, I was doing an air pressure test on a council flat in North Leeds yesterday. Tenant was a fanatic Leeds fan. And when I say fanatic I mean completely mental. I thought there was a hatred for Manure and Spuds in the Arsenal fanbase but this guy took Manure hatred to another level entirely. Probably in his 60s, shirts all over the place, talked of little else but Leeds and if he did veer off topic directly he somehow managed to reference it. Liaison officer honestly said on the phone before hand to not mention if… Read more »


A good reminder that we dont know sh!t about what goes on behind the scenes 🙂


The league table position is the stat that matters.


Baffling on a Park Chu Youngian level.


Park Chu Young was fucking useless.

This lad is supposed to be a bit special.

Big difference.

El Mintero

Now that Leicester’s French CB fofanna is out with a serious injury maybe we can offer Saliba instead of Nelson as the throw in for the Madison deal…


Brendan Rodgers has said Maddison is staying at Leicester.

With the sort of down the back of the sofa pittance that we usually seem to think constitutes a sensible offer for a fairly decent player, I’d say, at least as far as we’re concerned, that’s pretty much that.


Never surprises me how quickly the comments section can go off on a complete tangent following one single remark. I had to scroll to the top to remind myself what article had sparked the random comments debate again


If he pushed, why wasn’t he sold outright to the highest bidder? Why prolong this charade? Is Saliba also part of Mikel Out gang and wants to wait it out? It’s appalling no matter how you view this. Even the Oligarch teams won’t let a 32M signing rot away.

Teryima Adi

And Arteta still fails to see all this potential people are seeing.🤔🤔🤔


And it surprises you…..? 🤔

100% off topic, but what about a move for free agent Leo Messi. We can simply add £1 per week to whatever PSG offer him as wages.


In truth, most of us would feel quite rejected by a club that bought a player for nearly £30m and didn’t offer a single chance in 3 years. His contract will be coming to a point in needs renewing or selling when he returns next summer.

This is the most ridiculous situation I can remember from Arsenal and even Mustafi had priority over Saliba.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

What the hell is his problem. At least the original Le Sulk, Anelka, had proved himself and won doubles with us before upping his arrogant French behaviour. I understand he may not feel ready but this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

Teta's cult of personality

I think Anelka is more comparable to Guendouzi in regards to emotional instability, no? At least with Anelka and Douzi we got to see what they were made off.However, you can’t prove yourself if you’re nowhere near the squad.

If only a whistleblower could tell us the exact reason for his absence.


What kind of behavior?

He isn’t even saying he asked to be sent on loan, just that he chose Marseille over other (English) clubs.

Jack Wilshere has done far worse.


Don’t get why he isn’t loaned to an English team?! He needs to learn the language and the game. Goes a long way to adapting when he finally is given a chance. For this reason, I am doubtful it will ever be.


He probably believes that he will never get a chance at Arsenal after the last 2 years.

He did a video on arsenal.com with Lacazette and he was clearly upset at never having a chance. Laca named him as an Arsenal player in a quiz and William corrected him because he had never played a game.


Okay, this is a terrible, clickbait headline and a godawful misleading article.

At no point does the article indicate whether Saliba pushed for a loan or merely chose Marseille over Newcastle once it was decided a loan would be the best option for him.

The second option seems to be more in line with everything we know and pretty non-controversial.

It’s strange to see this tabloid crap on Arseblog, you’re better than this.

Teta's cult of personality

Interesting… I also noticed this in the article: Alvaro parle français, Luan et Leo parlent anglais On arrive bien à communiquer = Alvaro (Gonzalez) speaks French, Luan (Peres) and Leo (Balerdi) speak English. We’ve managed to communicate well. So Saliba can communicate with his Brazilian and Argentine centre-back partners in English but let it be known he had no interest in playing in England🙄. Ironically, many of the Gooners that are puzzled at Saliba choosing Marseille over lower-tier Prem teams are the same people that don’t rate Willock because he had a “purple-patch” at lowly Newcastle and won’t fit into… Read more »

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