Matteo Guendouzi has risked the ire of Arsenal fans by claiming that he will try and keep William Saliba at Marseille next season.
Guendouzi & Saliba pair both spent last term in the South of France on loan from the Gunners,
and they were both influential in Marseille putting together a strong campaign to finish second in Ligue 1.
Being out of contract, Guendouzi was always likely to leave Arsenal this summer – his move has now been confirmed
– but Saliba is a different case, with the highly-rated 21-year-old centre-back expected to come back into the fold at the Emirates.
That’s not if Guendouzi has anything to do with it though.
Speaking to TF1, Guendouzi said:
“William now has Marseille in his heart and I am sure that he will come back to Marseille next season.
“So I am going to try to push again for him to stay with us.”
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For his part, Saliba went public recently with the opposite opinion – that he was planning to return to North London.
“I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left.
“I will be back with Arsenal [for pre-season].
I have played no matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.
“But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.”
That’s not to say, however, that Saliba particularly wants to leave Marseille,
where he impressed in making 36 appearances in all competitions in 2021/22.
“Surprising or magical,” was the one word Saliba chose to sum up his campaign just gone.
“It’s my first full season. I was keen to show who I really am.
It’s a very positive assessment and really I’m very happy with my season.
“It’s as if I’d been here at least two or three years, it’s really special.
“Even if I don’t come back to Marseille, I’ll never forget.
Thanks to OM, I spent a great season in my career and it was they who boosted me.”
Guendouzi was similarly effusive in his praise for the environment under Jorge Sampaoli,
who he will again work under next term after Arsenal and Marseille agreed a fee for his services.
“I couldn’t have hoped for a better season than the one that I spent with Marseille,” Guendouzi said.
“With the French national team as well, it is quite simply my best season as a professional.”