Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne with big expectations on his shoulders back in 2019, but the 20-year-old is still yet to make his competitive debut and has been sent on three separate loan spells.
This season, Saliba has excelled at the heart of Marseille’s defence in Ligue 1 which has raised serious questions surrounding the Gunners’ treatment of the promising Frenchman, who cost the club £27million two years ago.
The Sun claim Saliba feels underappreciated amid an ongoing ‘rift’ with Mikel Arteta which perhaps stems from Arsenal denying him the chance to play in Saint-Etienne’s Coupe de France Final clash with Paris Saint-Germain last year.
There was a feeling Saliba could finally get his chance ahead of the current campaign and Arteta hinted as much after the centre-back impressed towards the back-end of last season on loan at Nice.
However, the youngster’s frustration grew as the north London giants went on to reinforce their defence with the addition of Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu in the summer transfer window, seemingly blocking his path to regular minutes at the Emirates.
Gabriel Magalhaes, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are also in front of Saliba as it stands.
Saliba will have been desperate to send Arteta a reminder of his quality this term and he has done just that, tipped as a ‘future great of French football’ by Jorge Sampaoli following Marseille’s 2-0 victory over Rennes.
The France Under-21 international went on to produce a stellar performance in Marseille’s goalless draw with Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend, keeping Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at bay at the Orange Velodrome.
According to The Sun, Arsenal have made no final decision regarding Saliba’s possible exit, but the centre-half still has plenty to prove and the Gunners will continue to keep close tabs on his progress this season.
The report suggests a summer move is not out of the question, though, with Marseille likely to be interested in a permanent deal.
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Saliba has been pleased with his form this season and rated his recent performance against PSG as the best of his career, with the defender producing a phenomenal last-ditch challenge to stop Mbappe in his tracks in the dying moments.
‘I saw he made the call so I was like, “Either take the red or I take the ball”. I tackled the ball well so there you go,’ he told reporters shortly after the final whistle.
‘It’s the best game of my career, playing a Classico at the Velodrome with this atmosphere.
‘Today we drew, it’s not that bad. We lacked a little efficiency, but from Wednesday we will try to bring all three points.’