Thierry Henry launches another attack on Mikel Arteta by questioning Arsenal player exit

Arsenal: Saliba tackles Aubameyang during training

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Arsenal great Thierry Henry has launched another attack on Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. Henry has not hidden his feelings on the state of his former club at different occasions this season.

And he has now criticised Arteta’s handling of French defender William Saliba. Arteta allowed Saliba to join Marseille on loan last summer – his third temporary move away from the club since his £27million arrival in 2019.

The centre-back is yet to make a single first-team appearance for Arsenal and has not even been included in a match-day squad. Saliba has shone at Marseille and earned his first caps for the senior France team at the most-recent international break.

Henry has questioned why Arteta has not even given Saliba a single chance to prove himself at first-team level. “They didn’t even let him make a mistake,” he told Amazon Prime.

“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.

“At the moment, 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.

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“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.”

It is not the first time Henry has hit out at Arsenal and Arteta. Last October, he claimed Arsenal had no plan B under the Spanish boss and questioned the direction the team was being taken.

In February, he said it would be a failure if the Gunners did not finish in the top four this season. That is despite Arteta having the youngest team in the Premier League.

Following Saliba’s debut for France, Arteta insisted the 21-year-old was fulfilling the targets the club had set him. He said: “He’s our player and we are really happy with the decision that we made because the exposure, minutes, responsibility and growth at his age is something we could not guarantee him this season.

“It makes a lot of sense what is happening with him and we are glad to see him the way he is improving.” Saliba recently spoke of his love for Marseille and that he would be open to a move back there after his loan.

“My wish is to finish the season well, to leave on a good note in case I don’t come back,” Saliba said. “It would be my pleasure to come back no matter what, it’s not as if I know I’m not going to come back, it’s Marseille, it’s my club.”

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