William Saliba has supposedly informed both Arsenal and Marseille that his clear wish is to extend his loan in France.
The defender is yet to make his senior debut for the Gunners despite signing in the summer of 2019, enjoying three separate loans in Ligue 1 since, with his most recent outing by far the most impressive.
Saliba picked up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season award for his troubles after helping Marseille to finish second in the division, earning them a place in next season’s Champions league, but is supposed to return to to north London ahead of the new campaign.
The defender is now claimed to have made his intentions clear that he has absolutely no interest in staying at the Emirates next season to play as a ‘spare part’.
William Saliba absolutely wants to remain at Marseille & both clubs know his desire – he has no intention of being a spare part at Arsenal, according to @MohamedTERParis – will be up to Marseille to make a compelling proposal.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 28, 2022
Should these reports prove to be true, and judging by previous interviews I would tend to believe such reports, it will now be down to Mikel Arteta to either force the player to get in line, offer him a guaranteed amount of first-team football, or as we have previously seen, shun a player with the wrong attitude.
I’d hate to see this turn out to be another Matteo Guendouzi situation, as I firmly believe that Saliba is more-than good enough to play a key role in our current and future plans, but we can only have ourselves to blame if this turns sour.
Saliba should have been given the chance to make his mark for our first-team previously, and his season in France has only cemented that thought into my mind, and he could well have been what made the difference between us finishing fourth or fifth this term.
If the youngster genuinely wants to go on loan for another year to enjoy CL football with Marseille, that may not be the worst thing, but it would be like telling him that he still isn’t deemed good enough which will likely damage our relationship with him further. IF we are to consider another loan however, a new contract needs to be ironed out beforehand, with the agreement that this will be his last loan away from the club simply to allow him to enjoy the elite European competition while he continues to gain valuable experience.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Saliba is sold without even making a senior appearance for our club, and sold for a profit, but I definitely believe that we should have approached this differently, although the player may be a little difficult to deal with also.
Is Arsenal or the defender in the wrong here (assuming all the above is true)?
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