Arsenal’s exiled loan defender William Saliba is piling pressure on Mikel Arteta as his incredible loan stats emerge.
The Frenchman has been on the books in north London for three seasons since a £27m deal was completed in 2019 from Saint-Etienne – but he has never made a senior appearance.
Being loaned straight back to the Ligue 1 side under Unai Emery, his replacement decided to put the 20-year-old in the U23s and EFL Trophy campaign.
This left Saliba frustrated, heading to Nice for the second half of the 2020/21 season to make 22 appearances and even grab a goal.
And it seems Arteta’s standing on the centre-back has not changed, signing Ben White from Brighton for £50m and sending the youngster to Marseille.
But the stats from his latest game on the Cote d’Azur suggest that Arteta may have made a mistake in letting the Frenchman head out on loan.
The Gunners defender has started all four of his club’s Ligue 1 fixtures, including the chaotic clash with Nice that had to be suspended because of a clash with fans.
But it all appeared to be forgotten as they returned to the Stade Velodrome to record a 3-1 win over his former side Saint-Etienne, maintaining their unbeaten start.
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And the stats from his 90 minutes show an imperious display of both attacking and defensive football.
Playing on the right side of a back three, Saliba won 80 per-cent of his duels from 10 attempts while recording five clearances, an interception and a won tackle.
While his distribution was also on point, making 97 passes with a 96 per-cent accuracy, including two successful long balls from two for good measure.
And his work on the ground put the cherry on top, making six successful dribbles from six to get Marseille up the pitch.
It marks a start contrast to his parent club’s defensive displays, conceding nine goals in their first three Premier League games of the season.
Failing to find the net in any of them, it sees Arteta’s side rock bottom of the table – and fans are now calling for the Spaniard to be sacked after the latest 5-0 humiliation against Manchester City.
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