Ex-West Ham star Payet baffled by Arteta decision at Arsenal

Joe Williams
Dimitri Payet has commented on Arsenal

Former West Ham star Dimitri Payet can’t understand why Mikel Arteta hasn’t given William Saliba a run of matches in the Arsenal first team.

Saliba joined the Gunners from St Etienne in 2019 before being loaned back the French club for the 2019/20 season.

The following summer it seemed like the young defender would be given a chance by Mikel Arteta in the first-team. However, this was not the case.

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The Frenchman only featured for the club’s Under-23s before being loaned back to his home country in January, joining Nice for the second half of last season.

And for the third consecutive season, Saliba has been loaned out to a Ligue 1 club, this time Marseille.

Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli recently claimed that Saliba could be a “future great” and Payet can’t understand why his team-mate hasn’t had more of a chance to impress at Arsenal.

Payet told L’Equipe (via Sport Witness): “The new ones have all brought something different. After that, I am closer to younger players.

“So, the one that impresses me the most is “Willie” (William Saliba). Considering what he’s been doing since the start of the season, I don’t understand why he hasn’t played more for Arsenal.”

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere believes Arsenal will miss Granit Xhaka in the coming months as he praised the passion of the opinion-splitting midfielder.

Xhaka is likely to be out until late December after suffering knee ligament damage in the 3-1 victory over Tottenham last month.

He had just returned from a three-match ban before being hit by the injury, although he escaped the need for surgery and a longer period on the sidelines.

Wilshere said: “Granit is someone I played with in my last few years at the club.

“He was always a good team-mate, a good team player. He obviously has his difficulties with the fans but that is just the type of character he is.

“He is a passionate character, he wants to do well, he is driven and wants to be the best he can be and I think the fans are starting to see that now.”