Matteo Guendouzi predicts William Saliba will re-join Marseille ahead of next season despite the centre-back admitting he will be “back with Arsenal”.
Following months of speculation over his immediate and long-term future, Saliba revealed a week ago that he will return to the Gunners after the summer break.
“I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left,” Saliba told Telefoot.
“I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.”
Speaking a couple of weeks before, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was adamant the France international would be returning to the Emirates Stadium for the upcoming campaign.
Arteta said: “He has to come back. He has the experience and has been in the necessary environment in order to be competitive with us.
“If he had stayed with us this year, where we had one Premier League game every week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.
“For his growth and what he can do next season, that wouldn’t have been good.
“William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”
During the 2021/22 Ligue 1 season, William Saliba did not:
◉ Concede a penalty
◉ Received a red card
◉ Make an error leading to a shot
Best of all? He didn’t commit a foul throw-in either. 😉 pic.twitter.com/gasrg53U3k
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 10, 2022
Saliba has been excellent this season, playing 52 times in all competitions as Marseille finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, qualifying for the Champions League in the process.
His form saw him voted Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year while he also got international recognition with five caps for France.
There is little doubt Marseille would want him back if possible this summer and former Arsenal midfielder – who now plays for Marseille – is convinced that his compatriot will return to the Stade Velodrome in time for next season.
“William [Saliba] now has Marseille in his heart,” said Guendouzi. “I’m sure that he’ll come back to Marseille next season.
“I’m going to keep pushing so that he stays with us.”
On his own future, Guendouzi added: “I couldn’t have hoped for a better season than the one that I spent with Marseille. With the French national team as well, it is quite simply my best season as a professional.”