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Henry angry with Arsenal treatment of Saliba: 'They didn't even let him make a mistake'

08:48 BST 02/05/2022
William Saliba Marseille 2021-22
The Gunners legend has questioned Mikel Arteta's handling of the prospect currently shining on loan at Marseille

Thierry Henry has expressed his anger over Arsenal's treatment of William Saliba, insisting "they didn't even let him make a mistake".

Arsenal signed Saliba from Saint Etienne for £27 million ($34m) in July 2019, and immediately sent him back to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on loan.

The Frenchman has since had two more loan spells away from Emirates Stadium, the latest of which saw him join Marseille for the duration of the 2021-22 campaign with the Gunners yet to hand him his competitive debut in English football.

What has Henry said about Saliba?

Henry has questioned Mikel Arteta's handling of Saliba, who he believes has proved his quality at Stade Velodrome over the past 10 months.

"They didn't even let him make a mistake," the Arsenal legend told Amazon Prime of his old club's treatment of Saliba. "He left before an error.

"He didn't even have the chance to compete for his place. What he is doing here is extraordinary. He was rewarded with a selection for the France team.

"Now he belongs to Arsenal, I don't know where he will end up. We have seen that it was a little difficult for him to express himself on the subject.

"What I know is that he could have been in the Arsenal group. I am not Mikel Arteta, but I found it difficult for him. Anyway, he responded well and that's the most important thing."

What has Saliba said about his future?

Saliba discussed his situation before Marseille's 3-0 home defeat to Lyon on Sunday, admitting he would welcome the chance to stay at Stade Velodrome beyond the end of the season.

"My wish is to finish well, to leave on a good note in case I don't come back anymore, but I try not to think too much about my future, otherwise I'm less focused on the games," the 21-year-old said.

"I'd be happy to come back here, no matter what. It's Marseille, it's my club."

Saliba is under contract at Arsenal until 2024, but is already excited over the prospect of playing Champions League football at Marseille next season, with the club currently sitting second in Ligue 1 with three fixtures remaining.

"The Champions League with OM? When you see the atmosphere in the Conference League or in Ligue 1, I can't even imagine what it would be like on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening," he said.

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