Arsenal Debate – Was Saliba a shrewd deal or an expensive mistake?

Was William Saliba’s signing shrewd or stupid?

When Arsenal spent £27 million on an 18-year-old rookie centerback William Saliba in 2019, it sent a message to the footballing world that this is a different Arsenal who are ready to outsmart the market.

The fanfare around him was natural. A huge financial commitment on a player has it’s own excitement, but there are many downsides to it too.

Arsenal similarly broke their transfer record for Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe. The winger has evidently failed to reach the heights that were expected of him.

But what if he had signed for less than half of the £72m Arsenal forked out in a flash?

The case of Saliba is different to his counterpart.

When Arsenal bought the young Frenchman, it was only his first breakthrough season in men’s football. He was just 18. Carrying a 30-million-pound price tag on your shoulders isn’t easy.

At present, the deal for the French youth international looks even worse when you consider that he has spent two seasons on loan already.

With Arsenal being linked to Ben White, it might turn into three.

A lot of Arsenal fans want Saliba instead of White, including me. He might save Arsenal millions. But there are always two sides to a story.

Saliba is still very young for a central defender. How many centerbacks of the ‘Under-21’ category can you name who play for the big names in Europe? Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Bayern Munich’s Dayot Upamecano and Liverpool’s new recruit Ibrahim Konate might come to your mind.

But they all are 22 years old. Clubs did not come to them and offer huge money when they were still teenagers and pretty much rookies.

While some may argue that Arsenal did a good job by signing Saliba before their competitors got their hands on him. But was it too naïve from the club’s board to spend an astonishing fee on a teenager?

Arsenal are not the Chelseas or Manchester Citys who can afford the current situation the North London outfit find themselves in. They cannot just splash the cash on a player who won’t even play the first two years of his contract.

It is true that Edu and Mikel Arteta have ‘overvalued’ experience over talent since their arrival. Signing Willian and giving a contract extension to David Luiz last summer were a testament.

Gambling and spending money on younsters in and around the 5-15 million range is a completely different story. Arsenal have bought Gabriel Martinelli, Matteo Guendouzi for a combined fee of 13 million.

The duo may be joined up by Sami Lokonga, who is still 21. But their transfer fees isn’t anywhere close to what Arsenal paid for William Saliba.

At this point of time, we can definitely say that it was a poor deal by the Gunners.

Only if Mikel Arteta plays him regularly next season and Saliba shines will this deal be considered somewhat better.

But this is a mistake which the club cannot afford to make the second time. ‘Splashing out 30 million on a player who didn’t even play the first two years’ sounds diabolical.

I just hope that things work out for Saliba at Arsenal, because it’s clear that he has the potential to be one of the best centerbacks in the world, let alone Europe.

Do you think getting Saliba was a shrewd buy or an expensive mistake?

Yash Bisht

Tags Saliba

87 Comments

  1. mogunna says:

    He IS a top player, he is a mix of varrane & Ramos, speed, agressive, dominant.

  2. Ayan says:

    Saliba has not been given opportunity by Arteta. But there are glimpses of quality in his ability. Before we can judge perfectly, he has to be given enough opportunity to play first.

  3. jon fox says:

    It was not “Arsenal” who bought Saliba, but a specific manager, UE, who is no longer in charge. So whether or not Saliba turns out to be a great value buy OR an expensive mistake, cannot fairly or rationally be attributed to MA. CAN IT!

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      The only thing Jon is that it seems (and I say “seems” because we don’t know full workings) he hasn’t been given a chance. It is hard to tell if the purchase was a mistake or the management of the player is the problem.

      It would be great if he were a solution as we could spend the cash elsewhere. White is a good player with potential to be great, but I am not sure that it is priority one for us right now.

      1. jon fox says:

        Stewart I would add to your two only possibilities , a third option , which is this: Saliba might well be a very fine player who WAS correctly deemed not yet ready for our fast and furious Prem, when MA first arrived.

        But now, after a successful loan in a less frantic and lower class league, he MAY WELL be ready to play a successful part for us next season. I hope you are fair minded enough to concede that is at least a third possibility.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          jon, whether Arteta follows your option and gives Saliba an opportunity will say a lot about Arteta. Look at the ages of Adams and Keown when they made their debut for Arsenal.

        2. Stewart Macintosh says:

          absolutely Jon!

          There are probably a number of variables and it may well be that he wasn’t ready for EPL.

          I know France is not EPL but he seems to have been so strong there and there are a lot of good French defenders.

          Part of the issue with all of these discussions is that we really don’t know the full story.

    2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      absolutely ludicrous comment Jon…give your head a shake

      1. Dan kit says:

        It needs more than shake 🤪

        1. Dan kit says:

          A shake *🤪

      2. jon fox says:

        TRVL shame you choose to not say why you think as you do. Debate is always better more interesting and intelligent when those who post say WHY they think as they do. Wouldn’t you agree!

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          first and foremost, UE never purchased Saliba, as he mistakenly had no say in recruitment, which was incredibly short-sighted on the part of the organization considering he’s a system-dependent coach

          secondly, in the past, you’ve been known to look for ways to defend Arteta even when his actions have been largely indefensible, albeit this has occurred far less frequently in more recent times…with this in mind, I figured this was one of those rare occurrences, which is why I suggested you give your head a shake

          the fact remains, that just because a particular manager/coach hasn’t brought in the player in question doesn’t absolve him from what ultimately transpires with said player, especially when it comes to highly-rated prospects…if Mikel had taken a relatively raw Saka and molded him into a world-class finished product I wouldn’t offer-up plaudits to only the person or persons who first discovered that individual; in fact, I would give those in charge of his development the vast majority of the kudos

          in the same vein, if that same manager drops the proverbial ball and fails to provide the requisite developmental opportunities, simply because the player wasn’t of his choosing, then this individual comes good elsewhere, he should shoulder the bulk of the blame…talent evaluation is a crucial aspect of the managerial job description and as such they should never look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when that player who has potentially long-term value to the club

          1. jon fox says:

            TRVL you clearly don’t keep up with my regular posts and so do not know that I no longer wish MA to stay as our manager. I have been saying this since the Villareal defeat, a while back now .
            BUT,as a realist, I know that Kroenke will not be sacking him any time soon and certainly not at least until Christmas and probably longer still. MAYBE YEARS LONGER, WHO KNOWS!

            IF we are in the hunt for top four, or even top six, by next Xmas, I see him staying longer still. So that you can be exactly sure what my position is, I state it now: MA has IMO, THOUGH NOT IN YOURS AND NOT IN MOST gOONERS ON JA, had an almost impossible job , given that Kroenke will not properly fund much needed major team surgery.

            MA has certainly made far too many selection, shape and subs mistakes to have my unwavering support now.
            BUT, unlike you and many Gooners on here, I firmly believe that supporters shoud support and not constantly carp and criticise, almost daily and in some cases even virtually hourly. As an older fan who has seen far poorer times for our club than at present( by a huge distance worse too), I know that football is uncertain by its nature and we have no God given right, as so many suppose , to be in the very top level year after year.

            AW and his golden first decade spoilt many fans, who began supporting in that period and many of them imagine that we have a right as AFC to be constantly at the top or very near for ever and a day.

            Life does not work like that. It would be lovely if it did, but mature fans know it does not.

            HAVING ACTIVELY WATCHED AFC for 62 years and counting, I have a different agenda and life philosophy from you and from many others. I own you this explanation, as it is plain to me that you are unaware of my whole position as a fan. Esp of one aged 70, not 15 or 20 or 25 as so many constant glory expectant fans are.

          2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            How ironic, not to mention incredibly presumptuous, that you would suggest that I haven’t been following your recent postings, regarding your “support” for Arteta, considering a mid-May, following our loss to Villareal, reply to SueP, which included the following comments:
            SueP’s comment
            “I’ve supported Arteta throughout, wavered a bit, although that is no longer unconditional. Villarreal saw to that. It appears that the club will be letting him continue. I’m ok with it on the basis that Edu gets the transfer window right and that Arteta hits the ground running next season. He should, by the early weeks of the new season have had sufficient time to show if he has gone to the next level”
            (then YOUR reply)
            Sue P. I always look forward to your constant wise posts ! I am in the same mind as you, as I so often find we agree

            It seems that maybe you should follow your own postings more closely as this Shakespearean Aside moment didn’t go unnoticed by this particular member of the audience…in the future please don’t lump me in with others you may have beef with as I’m by no means a dime a dozen poster and I always speak MY mind without care or concern for who may or may not align with my diligently researched and deeply considered opinions…Cheers

          3. Matt says:

            100% agree. Saliba proved at Nice he is a talent and Arteta needs to bring him in and work with him and give him games. The only way we will know if he is good enough for the premier league is if we play him in it.

      3. Charlie says:

        All I’ll say is look at the lad at Leicester Fofana he’s been given a chance and some really well. Saliba was regarded as the more talented out of them…

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

    3. Logic says:

      John, he is not given chance by Areta so by your logic Arteta is only answerable for players bought in his time as manager? What next even when they fail you are going to say it can not be attributed to MA becaue Edu bought them 🤣😂 it goes on and on just MA can never be wrong or at fault for anything.

      1. jon fox says:

        Logic I’d be very grateful if you would allow ME to outline my own logic and not have you do it, incorrectly too, for me. It is a dishonourable tactic to try putting ones own assumptions in another fans words , as you are doing.

        You must expect to be called out on it when you do so. At least by me.

        Serious minded fans are unlikely to be impressed by the childish and pointless use of cartoon emojis too.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          jon, TRVL is correct in that Sven Mislantat identified Wilfred Saliba and he was purchased for Emery to coach. He was expected as “head coach” not manager to coach the players provided to him.

  4. Sean Williams says:

    Saliba hasn’t been given a game. Again how can he be a mistake if he’s been sent away AND played well for Nice. You are buying into Arteta. Arteta clearly wants Emery’s players Saliba, Torreira and Guendouzi gone. Not because they are not good enough, but because Arteta is an ego on legs. I won’t call him a manager because he hasn’t go the faintest idea how to manage. Just about the worst manager we could have got. If we buy Ben White, for a small fortune (we could get a top midfielder for that money), when we already have William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos, then the inmates are running the asylum.

    1. Logic says:

      Well said Sean, I think Arteta is a poison for youngsters as well. He only used Saka becaue he was already a vital part of team and he was forced to use ESR because of pressure build up because of losses. Otherwise look at his record with other youngsters sent most of them on loan and benched Martenelli mostly even when he was fit just because he said in public he was fit to play. Arteta is the issue here because in all the situations you pick up regarding certain players no matter which age group there is only one thing common in those situation Mr Arteta. He is the toxicity in the club contrary to what some ppl try to feed to fans that MA is protecting them. Yeah protecting them from what COVID? What sort of protection it is to send them on loan and not give them chance to play in their parent club specially when the club is struggling it’s not like we were flying high and these youngsters could not get a look in.

    2. Sue says:

      Looks like Mavro is on his way….

      1. Sue says:

        To Stuttgart

        1. Logic says:

          Another one not given even a sniff in. I can understand it’s hard to get in to the team when team is really performing but why they are not given chances to show case their talent when team is struggling and playing in so many competition is beyond me.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            👍 Sue, and for how much was Mavropanos (a Greek International) sold to Stuttgart for?
            Not even given a chance to show Arsenal what he had, yet was good enough to catch the eye of Sven Mislantat. The mind boggles with the shenanigans of this Club!

          2. Sue says:

            Ozzie, 7m – a pittance!! Then watch as we pay way over the odds for others – rinse and repeat!! The Arsenal way (SMH!!)
            I honestly think other clubs see us coming!

          3. ozziegunner says:

            Sue, David Dein must be almost slashing his wrists.

  5. Durand says:

    Hard to say honestly when Arteta didn’t give him a fair chance. He supposedly “wasn’t ready” but was solid yet again on loan.

    Meanwhile Arteta thought Nketiah was ready, and keep playing Willian despite his lack of productivity and defending.

    Arteta has been the stumbling block for Saliba, not his performances on the pitch.

    Hope he gets chances, not turn into another Malen or Gnabry because of Arteta’s ego.

  6. FingersFurnell says:

    I don’t think he has to be either at this stage Yash, similarly with Guendouzi & Martinelli who admittedly we got an earlier contribution to watch and they were less expensive but the jury is still out on all three for the longer term, quite rightly as they are still young and developing, albeit in completely different personal circumstances

    If all three realise their potential in a red & white shirt over the next couple of years for a reported combined outlay of 40 million then result surely

    We have obviously seen more of Matteo and Gabriel, we don’t know if the former will come back with a different attitude or whether the latter will fully recover from his serious injury, let’s hope so on both counts

    I know less about Saliba, the only game I have seen him play for us was a friendly against MK Dons last August, he was tidy enough but I remember the game more for Elneny scoring from the half way line, Holding scoring a spectacular own goal and McGuiness scoring with a real old fashioned centre half header!

  7. gotanidea says:

    I think he was supposed to be an investment, that should be slowly integrated into the main squad. He was sent on loan because he was simply too inexperienced to be Arsenal’s main CB and we needed a veteran CB

    Now he’s gained some enough experience, so I believe he’ll get his chance next season. Especially if we play with three CBs

  8. Atid says:

    Off topic

    It’s been confirmed that our African players and any others we sign will miss up to 3 league matches including the North London Derby.

  9. MrBure says:

    I’ve said it on here before, and I will say it again. Saliba is not the problem, Arteta is.

    Saliba hasn’t been given any opportunity to prove whether or not he’s worth 27 million pounds, or whether or not he’s a good investment, because Arteta is sabotaging his Arsenal career. To reiterate, the ONLY reason Saliba wasn’t registered to play for Arsenal last season was that Arteta chose not to register him as there was ample opportunity to do so.

    Thus, debating whether a player our manager has actively refused to play is a good investment or not, is missing the point. And now, we’re trying to go out and throw away 50 million pounds on Ben White.

    Saliba needs to tell his agent to find him a new club, and we will be kicking ourselves for years when he goes.

  10. Son says:

    I think it’s truly unfair on Saliba to put up such an article.
    If the lad had made some mistakes in pre-season and in competitive matches before he was sent on loan in Jenuary, then ur article would make sense, but thats not the case here, he hasn’t even been registered as an Arsenal player before. Come on lets be real, this guy is a talent and am afraid Arteta’s ego may cost us a talent for this decade.

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Soooooo, was it a good deal or not?

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        don’t know. If Saliba doesn’t get a chance it was an awful deal. If he plays and is poor it is a bad deal. If he plays as a squad player it is okay. If he becomes a regular starting centre back it is a good deal. If he becomes a legend it was fantastic.

        There, I think I have hedged all bets 🙂

        1. SueP says:

          I salute that🤣

  11. Dan kit says:

    Ben white 40 mill bid rejected expected to go back in with an approved offer
    Does not look like saliba is in his plans ,surely we should be looking at other postions first .

    1. Dajuhi says:

      40m for White and going even higher has to be the most stupid transfer we’ve done. He’s worth half that!

      Upamecano cost less
      Konate cost less
      Fofana cost less

      What is MA doing?!

    2. Classic says:

      I don’t know who’s more stupid. Arsenal for offering £40m or Brighton for turning it down

      1. jon fox says:

        Classic If you know something that no one else sems to know , as your post indictaes, perhaps you would enlighten us all to the source of your seemingly certain knowledge of this (probably) non existent bid.

        It is extremely unlikely that any fan would know something for certain that Sky Sports has missed and not announced, I’d suggest.

    3. Logic says:

      @Dan, where did you get the news? If this is correct then these two are even more stupid then what ppl think them to be. Our struggle was on the offensive side not defensive side even then we are ok with CBs but what do these two do go out and bid try to buy an expensive CB who is no where worth that much . This is next level stupidity and that is why I have zilch faith in these two clowns to turn things around. I feel all our player dealings interms of buying/selling and loaning them out is based on Areta’s ego and him not getting along with certain players instead of Merit and what is required by team. I said it before in December keeping him was one of the biggest mistake this club as made in recent past and it will haunt us for years. Half of that prophecy Arteta has fulfilled last season half he will do this season.

      1. Dan kit says:

        It’s on sky mate

      2. Albe says:

        Remember when Silva said Emery at PSG was setting the club back years? This is what I feel about Arteta at this point. Not just him though, top down the organization is a joke at this point. Axeing most of the scouts and dealing directly with super agents is a big issue for me. It’s certainly not going to help a club that wants to penny-pinch. While I like Per, marginalizing and then getting rid of Bould? Arteta constantly throwing players under the bus while he refuses to drop certain players regardless of form or play youngsters when clearly they deserve to be getting significant PT.

        I think it’s hilarious that Arteta was trumpeted early on as a culture guy as he has been anything but. Petulant, deliberately isolating players and holding grudges, singling out guys in the press (often times without reason), clearly favoring certain players by refusing to drop them when their form suffers and others are clearly in a good run.

        And then there’s his tactics. I guess he has an ideal setup, but no one can understand it and he refuses to try to fit anything to the players he actually has, which are more than capable of finishing at least 5th. If he trots out a back 3 and refuses to let the GK decide whether to play out the back in the first couple games next year, I will probably pack it up and quit watching till Arteta is gone.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Albe, yet Emery at PSG won more trophies and had a better win percentage than Ancellotti, Tuchel and Ponchettino. I look forward to a manager at Arsenal holding the Club back that. much.
          Arteta can only dream, based on performance thus far.

    4. Reggie says:

      A massive call to pay 50 mil for White (overpriced in my opinion) and to let Saliba go ! As well as Mav. The wrong player from Brighton is being bought. Wont be the first time Arsenal shhot themselves in the foot. BISSOUMA NOT WHITE!

      1. Dan kit says:

        That’s what I’ve said Reggie
        Why have we put al our efforts first into a CB and a back up goalkeeper when we have two young CBS on the books performing brilliant out on loan when we need a bloody CM and a Attacking mid .
        By all means go for them after we actually get the players we need first

        1. Reggie says:

          Dan, like ive said numerous occasions, i dont trust Arteta, his decision making is rather suspect and the way he has managed our youth is poor. We should not be prioritising a center back, especially at the cost of losing Saliba, whom Arteta has just blanked. Arteta and Edu are clowns.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Apparently Mav is being sold for 7mil as well ,honestly this club as gone from being average when Wenger was in charge to an absolute sh1t show

        2. ozziegunner says:

          👍 👍Dan and Reggie, totally and completely unfathomable!

      2. ozziegunner says:

        100% agree, Reggie. You couldn’t trust Arteta and Edu to organize a root in a brothel with a hand full of £50 notes, or a piss up in a brewery based on current performance. They better get their act together or 8th place will start looking good.

  12. Zert says:

    Same Arteta that had Nketiah ahead of Lacazette and Tierney as a LCD from August to December. He also had Willian as a 9 with Auba struggling on the wings, Playing without a CF against villareal.

    I do think not been highly rated by Arteta should not be an indication of a player’s quality.

    1. Classic says:

      The article should be was Arteta better than Saliba as a footballer?

      1. Logic says:

        @Clasaic ….😂😂😂😂

  13. Reggie says:

    I can not believe for a minute that Arsenal will/would buy Ben White because we bought Saliba instead of, basically. But a supposed bid has gone in, that has to mean Saliba and Arsenal/Arteta are not destined to be together at Arsenal. White would have to be funded, is that by selling Saliba, who Arteta didn’t treat well at all.

    1. Adajim says:

      Am so furious now, I hope it’s smokescreen. If we have £40 to throw around, how much can Nabir Fekir or Bissoum or Aour cost am sure none will cost more than the £40m. What’s so special about this overhyped Ben White? We already have a defence with 3rd best record last season and we are welcoming Saliba and Mavro we are well covered, now we can table £40m bid for Brighton player but can we recoup £40m for any of our players currently despite finishing above Brighton, I heard Villa submitted £25 for ESR, imagine, we buy big but when our players get bid its some small money

      1. Reggie says:

        Rumours are Saliba and Mavropanos are going to be shipped out. Saliba must have upset Arteta badly because Arteta has given him the cold shoulder since day 1. Saliba very very highly rated in France but not by Arteta. Mmmmm.

      2. Nickerless Bender says:

        I worry about the ESR contract scenario.

        White will be a home grown so will cost a premium.

        If bought will mean that one of the non home grown players can go to free up a foreign space in the 25 numbers squad. Looking like a centerback. The choice is up for debate… but its freeing up a non home player space

        What a mess😳

      3. ozziegunner says:

        👍 Arteta better start talking to ESR about his plans (if in fact he has any).

  14. Adajim says:

    Really what are we smoking at Emirate? If we have £40 to bid for White why not put in the money into signing a proper CAM , DM which I see as priority, we have enough Defenders already. I wouldn’t say more but if we buy this player but didn’t properly invest in the middle all remaining of my respect for this board is gone

    1. Mac says:

      If he insists on a CB would rather buy Joachim Anderson 20 mil ish

      Decent last season ,leaving money for more important issues .

      I

  15. Bernado says:

    Apart from Gabriel, no arsenal defender can match ben white ability and physicality. Both the lonees as well

    1. Reggie says:

      Really? His tranfer value is 25 mil, less than what we paid for a precocious Saliba, who after 18 months under Arteta is now valued at 20 mil. Why should we buy white at double his market value, in a depressed market. I dont trust Arteta or Edu.

      1. Sue says:

        Reggie, Rafa to Everton???

        1. Reggie says:

          Sue, i thought that was where he would ultimately end up, im gutted because Everton will benifit greatly from his experience of the Premier league. We missed the boat again!

          1. Sue says:

            We’re experts at it, Reggie!!

          2. ozziegunner says:

            👍 👍 Antonio Conte is still available, but unfortunately, as difficult as it is to admit it, he is out of the league of the once great Arsenal. 😭

    2. Logic says:

      @Bernado, probably you are smoking same stuff as Arteta lol! Can I have some as well. What in cucu’s world is white even worth £40million and what has he done that shows his ability as a top defender. Only reason his price is that high is because he is British nothing else. Saliba, Holding, Mari, Gabi are miles ahead of him interms of quality.

  16. RSH says:

    so looks like we just got priced out of a locatelli deal 😂

    1. Wayne says:

      Arteta and Edu must be sacked asap for their inexperience and incompetence. Lack of trust in our talented youngsters and the inability to integrate them in a struggling and underwhelming squad, that is full overpaid pensioners undermines the efforts of one of the best academy across Europe. It is clear to see that from the transfer activity thus far, that these guys don’t have a plan or any sign of direction to raise Arsenal from the pit,that they have thrown the team.

    2. ozziegunner says:

      RSH, after the Italy vs Switzerland game, Locatelli’s value went up and Xhaka’s went down.

  17. Atid says:

    Saw Edu in McDonald’s earlier getting a big Mac the price was £3.89 but he offered only £3

  18. Albe says:

    Absolute joke that Arteta seems to want Saliba, Mavrapanos, Chambers, and probably Holding as well gone (he really tried early on this year to play Luiz or Mari instead but couldn’t get it to work). I know it’s just one season, but I really don’t rate Gabriel. For a coach that wants to play out of the back so desperately why does he want to build around Gabriel? By far the worst passer of his regular CBs and he also lost the ball in bad situations, has been repeatedly pulled out of position when the other teams have numbers, and even passes he completes often are putting teammates under unnecessary pressure to chase or already have someone tight to them.

    He is a better one on one defender and has better athleticism than Holding and the rest, but these things don’t help the team if you’re the reason the team keeps losing the ball in our own third.

    Saliba has the athleticism plus is better on the ball and a better passer. For me, Saliba should be replacing Gabriel in the lineup. Mavrapanos is on the fence for me. I rate him and Mari about equal, one of them probably should go. Arteta probably isn’t going to give him a chance regardless. Chambers I would definitely keep. If he is agreeable to stay on as 3rd CB/ utility RB/DM he is good cover, and with the right partner might still prove to be a starter at CB.

    As for the question in the article? I think Arsenal probably got a good deal, but it doesn’t matter if Arteta refuses to give him a look. He will demand to leave, maybe as soon as this summer, if he isn’t given fair consideration and Arsenal will take a loss on the deal and then still watch him outplay the guys Arteta wants to keep.

  19. Os says:

    I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but what if Ben White is primarily been signed to play as a DM, to allow Partey play as a box to box midfielder and also as cover for the CB position, just in case Saliba doesn’t take to the EPL and still needs time, it’s the only way I can justify the club trying to sign White, cos any other rationale for me seems like ludacris

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Os, you pay Edu and Arteta too much credit, given they had Calum Chambers (who won Fulham’s player of the season as DM), yet have given him no opportunities as a DM at Arsenal.

      1. Os says:

        I can see that, furthermore I read reports later on that the club is open to selling Saliba, so that throws that possibility out the water, if the reports are to be true, it just feels like a big brain fart on Mikel’s part, cos I can’t understand how you don’t play him to even figure out what you got, considering how clearly talented the kid is, really can’t understand it.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          You and me both. Surely the number one consideration of management is to assess the assets you have before deciding what you need. Then assess the financial situation and cost of available talent to decide what you need to sell to enable you to buy the required upgrades.

          1. Os says:

            Yeah, all I can do right now is to stay calm, cos I could give myself some serious heart ailments for no reason, so I’ll reserve the mega crisis for when the transfer window is complete. Let’s even see what this men do first.

  20. Joe.S says:

    I haven’t seen enough of Saliba play to comment one way or another but if a club wants to remain competitive they have to take risks like this. All the big clubs are focused on snapping up the next generation especially in a position where stand out players are a priceless commodity. So yes it was a gamble but a necessry one. the other issue of course is, do you have the staff to nuture and guide that talent? This of course is questionable at Arsenal.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sven Mislantat judged William Saliba to be a good prospect worth the money Arsenal paid, yet Arteta and Edu (on holiday in Portugal) apparently disagree. I would argue that Mislantat has the better track record.

  21. Pirate Dandy says:

    Shrewd deal

  22. RW1 says:

    Here’s a possible scenario .. another muddled window that doesn’t address the blatant weaknesses in this squad … loose opening three games of season (brentford given adrenaline factor and their continuity Chelsea and city coz we have fallen so far behind in ambition and quality it’s scary) … arteta gone by beginning September

    1. ozziegunner says:

      But who will be available then, with 4 months to the January transfer window?
      Rafa Benitez is getting virtually a full transfer window after he takes on managing Everton.

  23. Grandad says:

    In relation to the question posed in the article, we will all have a clearer picture during the course of the next 2/3 months based on his actual performance in the red shirt.I am amazed that so many fans believe what they read about the supposed move for Ben White.Where is the actual evidence to back up the speculation?Some fans fall for the multitude of circulating rumours, hook ,line and sinker .As adults we ought to be aware of the folly of believing everything we hear or read.

  24. Ben Ogaraku says:

    I still think its to early to judge whether or not Saliba is in Artetas plans. If Arteta had played Saliba(given the loss of a family member and how intense the PL can be) and he had flopped, you all will be the same set of people that will blame him for not easing Saliba into the starting 11. The transfer window is yet to close and everyone is already making assumptions. Lets give it till the end of the transfer window. Also, the narrative that Arteta does not like Emery players is dead on arrival. Because if that were the case, Saka, ESR, Tierney will not be in our squad. Guendouzi is a toxic player that HAS to be sold for the same reasons i always wanted Ozil gone. Torriera, unfortunately, didnt work out and should be moved on. Its still too early to judge the Saliba situation. Arteta eases Martinelli into games because of the way he plays, similar to Wilshere. If anything, Arteta is protecting the boys career so it baffles me when fans say there is an agenda against Martinelli. All this does not mean I support Arteta blindly. He makes some terrible decisions. To be fair, all coaches(even the great ones) make terrible decisions but the difference is the great ones minimize these terrible decisions and they learn from their mistakes. Arteta needs to learn from his. If it does not look like he is learning, i will not hesitate to call for his sack.

    As impossible as it may seem for Arsenal fans, i think we all need to be calm and see how the transfer window turns out. Only then can we make an accurate judgement.

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