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Ex-Arsenal captain Gallas warns Saliba about Gunners return

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has warned William Saliba he must be ready to fight for his place if he returns for next season.

Saliba has been in flying form in the Ligue 1 this season on loan, making 32 appearances for Marseille and helping the club to – as it stands – a second-placed finish in the league. He has been central in their good form in the Europa Conference League too, and they take on Feyenoord in the semi-final of the competition later this month.

But Gallas has told Goal that Saliba cannot expect an instant start when he returns to Arsenal.

He explained: “I think they didn't give him the opportunities at Arsenal, and I don't know why. That's why he moved on loan to Marseille.

“He is doing a good job, that is why they called him into the national team because he has had a great season with Marseille. If he comes back to Arsenal, he has to be ready to go back and maybe be on the bench at the beginning because at the moment you have got Ben White and Gabriel.

“He has to be ready to accept being on the bench. Mikel Arteta, if he plays with a different system, with three at the back, then he could play with Saliba. He has to understand this and be ready, otherwise don't come back to Arsenal because it will be difficult.

“Young players now have more opportunities to play, and when you start to play then you want to play every game. The problem at some clubs is that it can be difficult.

“Defenders are completely different to strikers, you need to have experience when you play at the back. Saliba is only 21 years old. He has played 30 or more games at Marseille, so if he goes back to Arsenal then he would like to play again. Maybe he will be on the bench, and if that happens then he will be upset."

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