The promising young centre-back came on for Les Bleus in their dramatic 2-1 win over Ivory Coast and received a rapturous reception with every touch.
The competition is held at the Stade Velodrome – Marseille’s home ground, where Saliba has spent the entire 2021/22 season on loan from the parent club. Arsenal. Signed with the Gunners in the summer of 2019 while the club was under the management of Unai EmerySaliba is yet to play a minute for the club.
Notably, formerly Sanctuary of Etienne the star tried to impress Didier Deschamps and made his international debut before playing for the club that spent £30m on his services just under three years ago.
Speculation in recent weeks has suggested the defender could leave Arsenal before playing as Marseille have stated they want to keep Saliba long-term.
If the reaction from the crowd inside Marseille’s home ground for Friday’s international friendly was anything to go by, Saliba played his way into the hearts of the club’s loyalists. It just so happened that the 21-year-old made his debut in the stadium where he played all season with the team on loan.
Every touch was met with applause and cheers, a clear sign of his popularity in the south of France. The news comes just days after Saliba made headlines with his latest comments on rumors surrounding his club’s future.
The midfielder put Arsenal’s future in doubt when he told RMC Sport: “I’ve never hidden the fact that I feel good here. I don’t know what my future holds, there are still two months left. The most important thing is to qualify for Champions League and go as far as you can in the Conference League.
“I think discussions will take place then, at the end of May to the beginning of June, between Arsenal and Marseille – we will decide at that point. But staying here will definitely not be an idea. bad idea, on the contrary, I know the city, my teammates, my manager. But that doesn’t depend on me.”
While the fact Saliba is now a France international will likely net the Gunners a decent fee for him if they sanction his departure, the stunning physical and technical attributes of he means Arsenal will likely try to make everything work.
Rumors that Mikel Arteta is not a fan of the player appear to be unfounded as the Spaniard has spoken previously of him wanting to return to London Colney after his loan spell. his in Marseille ended. With that said, Saliba has been stripped of the team number he was originally assigned to – fellow defender Benjamin White took number four while Saliba was absent.