Arsenal centre-back William Saliba has joined French outfit Marseille on a season-long loan deal, the Gunners have officially announced.
Talks between the Gunners and the Ligue 1 outfit have been ongoing in the last few weeks and an agreement has now been reached, allowing Saliba to return to his homeland for the duration of the 2021/22 campaign.
His temporary switch to Marseille marks the third season in succession that Saliba has been sent out on loan by the Gunners, as he spent time with both Saint-Etienne and Nice in each of the last two seasons.
During his short-term spell at Nice between January and the end of the 2020/21 campaign, Saliba made 22 appearances, scoring one goal.
On the club’s decision to allow Saliba to head out on loan once again, Gunners technical director Edu told the club’s website: “Together with William, we have decided it will be good for his continued development to spend another season on loan. William joined us as an 18-year-old, and he is still only 20, so he is still developing all the time.
“William is a player with strong natural ability and next season has the potential to be really beneficial for him at Marseille, a good club. To play another season in Ligue 1 will be very important for his development.
“We will of course be keeping in close contact with William during the season and wish him all the best in France with Marseille.”
Arsenal’s decision to send Saliba out on loan for a third time may come as a surprise to a lot of the club’s supporters, as manager Mikel Arteta insisted back in February that the youngster would get a chance to prove his worth in pre-season.
That, of course, has not proven to be the case, with the defender having now left the club once again.
Saliba is yet to make his first-team debut for the Gunners, meaning it remains uncertain when that opportunity will ever come.
Saliba has joined fellow Frenchman Matteo Guendouzi in swapping north London for Marseille this summer.
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