William Saliba says his performances for Marseille in February were ‘average’ and that he has ‘no excuses’ for his form.
Tipped to mount a title challenge off the back of good form in December and January, Jorge Sampaoli’s side fell apart last month, crashing out of the Coupe de France to Nice and losing to Lyon and Clermont in Ligue 1.
While it wasn’t all bad news – there was a convincing 6-1 aggregate win over Qarabag in the Europa League, as well as four points gained against Troyes and Metz – they’ve since gone down to Monaco at home to lose further ground on league leaders PSG.
For Saliba, who has sat out just three games all season, the recent form both personal and collective has been hard to take.
“Since February, I’ve been very average,” he told RMC Sport (translated by Sport Witness).
“There’s no need to hide. I know that I need to work, I’m a young player, but it’s no excuse. I’m going to give everything to get back to my good level.”
There have been rumours in recent weeks that Arsenal are keen to hand Saliba a new contract this summer. The France under-21 international is yet to make a senior appearance since signing from Saint-Etienne to great fanfare in 2019. His current deal ends in 2024.
Marseille, unsurprisingly, would like to keep Saliba, but he’s being polite about that at the moment.
“We’ll sit down at the end of the season,” he said when asked about his future.
“We’ve had a difficult month of February. We’ve started March badly, but we’ll soon find the taste of victory again and especially the good style of play we had at the start of the season.”
Given he’s only 20, we suspect William is being a little hard on himself. On a recent episode of the Arsecast, French football expert Matt Spiro was glowing in his endorsement of the player having watched the centre back rack up 36 appearances this season already.
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) February 18, 2022