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'A future great': World Cup winner says Arsenal ace is brilliant, but Arteta has never used him
Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images

'A future great': World Cup winner says Arsenal ace is brilliant, but Arteta has never used him

Photo by Anatoliy Medved/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Frank Leboeuf has delivered his honest verdict on Arsenal defender William Saliba, who is currently on loan at Marseille.

The young Frenchman joined the Gunners as a teenager in 2019 and a lot was expected of him. He was immediately sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne, but every Arsenal fan expected him to play a part once he returned.

However, Mikel Arteta had different ideas. The Arsenal boss kept him away from his side in the first half of last season and shipped him out on loan in January to Nice. He was then loaned out to Marseille in the summer, much to the anger of Gunners supporters.

Saliba hasn’t played a competitive game for Arsenal yet but Leboeuf is convinced that the young Frenchman will be a future great.

Frank Leboeuf: William Saliba is a future great

Asked about Saliba, the 1998 World Cup winner told Ligue 1’s official website: “He’s a player in the making.

“He made a small mistake in the Europa League against Lazio before the international break, but it happens to everyone.

“It happened to me, it happened to Laurent Blanc in the Europa League final against Parma. It happened to Varane with Real Madrid, with Lizarazu at OM.

“It’s part of football, but William Saliba is a great player, very young. He’s a future great.”

Photo by Lionel Hahn./Getty Images

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There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind about Saliba’s quality. The 20-year-old is one of the best defenders of his age in the world, and he will only get better in the coming months and years.

Arteta’s treatment of Saliba really baffled some Arsenal fans. The young Frenchman certainly deserved a chance last season, at least in the Europa League. However, the Gunners boss decided he wasn’t ready yet.

Saliba is now impressing in France with Marseille and he has to be a part of Arsenal’s first team when he returns next season. If Arteta decides against it, the young Frenchman will be better off looking for a permanent move elsewhere.

Photo by Anatoliy Medved./BSR Agency/Getty Images

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