Thierry Henry has disagreed with Mikel Arteta on the decision to send Arsenal centre-back William Saliba out on loan to Marseille for the 2021-22 campaign.
Saliba has impressed since starting his third loan spell away from the Gunners but the club legend has bemoaned the fact his former club did not at least give him a chance first.
Saliba was signed by Unai Emery in the summer of 2019 but instantly sent out on loan to former club Saint-Etienne for the following season.
At the end of that spell he returned to north London only to join Nice for the 2020-21 campaign.
Last summer saw a number of Arsenal fans call for him to be included in the first team but following the £50 million signing of Ben White, he was sent to Marseille for another season on loan.
Under Jorge Sampaoli’s guidance, Saliba has become one of Ligue 1’s stand out defenders, even earning a call-up to the French first-team for the first time in March.
The 21-year-old himself has remained coy over his own future but has hinted that he would be happy to stay in Marseille going forward.
When asked about the defender, Arteta remained satisfied with the club’s decision.
“I think we are really happy with the decision that we made because again the exposure and minutes and responsibility on his growth at his age is something that we could not guarantee him this season,” he said back in March after Saliba’s call up.
“And it makes a lot of sense what is happening with him. We are glad to see the way he is improving.”
While there is no doubting that Saliba has improved at the Stade Velodrome, making 34 Ligue 1 appearances, the Arsenal legend feels it is a shame he did not get a shot at the Emirates.
“They didn’t even let him make a mistake. He didn’t even have the chance to compete for his place. What he is doing here is extraordinary. He was rewarded with a selection for the France team,” Henry said in an interview with Amazon Prime.
“Now he belongs to Arsenal, I don’t know where he will end up. We have seen that it was a little difficult for him to express himself on the subject.”