The Lowdown: On the periphery
The Frenchman first arrived in the Premier League when he joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in 2019, but is yet to make a senior appearance at the Emirates, having been sent out on loan three times since putting pen to paper in north London.
This has caused plenty of speculation in recent times, linking the 21-year-old with a move away from the capital, but it sounds like Arteta might have other ideas when it comes to planning the next stage of his career.
The Latest: Romano drops Saliba update
Taking to Twitter, Romano confirmed that Arsenal want to retain Saliba and are even keen on offering him fresh terms. He wrote:
“William Saliba situation. Rumours on loan move are wide of mark, Arsenal board and Mikel Arteta both count on Saliba as part of the team for next season.
“Been told situation could only change in case of crazy bid. Arsenal trust him – keen on discussing a new contract.”
The Verdict: Marseille success
Having initially spent £27m on signing Saliba in the first place, it would have been a shame for Arsenal to let him permanently go without giving him a chance to prove himself, so it’s nice to see that Arteta views him as part of his long-term plan.
The defender was a revelation at Marseille last season, averaging an incredible 93.1% pass success rate in Ligue 1, with his performances earning him a call up to Deschamps’ international squad.
With Gabriel and Ben White very much a comfortable pairing at the back, it’ll be interesting to see what the Gunners boss does with Saliba, dubbed ‘fast and powerful‘ by Mattéo Guendouzi, but he will now at least have the opportunity to make an impression during pre-season.
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