William Saliba has once again risked the ire of Mikel Arteta by suggesting the Arsenal boss didn’t give him enough game time to prove his worth before being sent out on loan last month.
Saliba, 19, joined the Premier League side a year-and-a-half ago but has yet to make a single competitive first-team appearance for the Gunners.
The French defender, who spent last season at former side Saint-Etienne, featured for Arsenal’s Under-23s and in pre-season friendlies before joining Nice until the end of the 2020/21 campaign on January 4.
“He judged me on two-and-a-half matches,” Saliba told RMC.
“I would have liked for him to play me more.
“But he told me I wasn’t ready. I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that.”
The north London side splashed out £27million to sign Saliba in 2019, but he was left out of the club’s squad for the Premier League and Europa League this season.
Speaking at his official Nice unveiling at the start of January, Saliba said: “My first six months were difficult, because I was coming from six months where I wasn’t able to train because I was at home and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play.
“I arrived there as they were finishing the league season, so I was training alone.
“As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.
“The coach immediately told me that I was not ready. I would have at least liked to have a chance to rediscover my rhythm. But this is football, it’s like that.”
While Saliba’s comments are not thought to be malicious or a direct complaint towards Arteta, they are unlikely to go down well with the Spaniard.