Arsenal fans may need to curb anticipation with Saliba debut far away (opinion)

Arsenal fans have been waiting two years to see defender William Saliba make his Arsenal debut, and they may well have to wait a little longer…

The Frenchman has been selected to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, and looking at their squad, they must rank amongst the favourites to lift the trophy.

In doing so, that will mean that Saliba will not only miss much of the Arsenal pre-season, but means that he will still be in action a week before the Premier League campaign kicks off, and depending on quarantine rules, may not be able to join up with the playing squad for training until the season has already began.

With strong claims that Ben White is set to arrive at the club, with a club record defender deal being mooted, he will surely be expected to play an important first-team role, and with Saliba also set to be hampered by missing out on our pre-season, it could be a massive uphill task before he can break into the manager’s plans.

Mikel Arteta has already shown that he isn’t going to bow to peer pressure when it comes to the 20 year-old’s involvement, and the club also has the likes of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding at the club as proven alternatives to White(should he sign) also.

I’m certainly not holding my breath on seeing Saliba make his Arsenal debut before September, and wouldn’t be shocked if his setbacks were to cause a rift between the youngster and the manager, and another exit in January could well end up on the cards, albeit on loan or a more permanent deal…

Should Saliba have considered rejecting the offer to play at the Olympics?

Patrick

Tags William Saliba

80 Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Let’s wait and see

    1. Sean M says:

      So much this! See below for histrionics.

  2. PJ-SA says:

    No, why should he have rejected to play for his county? He has openly stated that he wants to play football and be a starter and contribute. Where do you think he’s more likely to get that opportunity? I don’t blame him for 1 second, who knows what kind of treatment he’ll get from MA.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 After being stopped from playing in the French Cup Final by Arsenal.

      1. Angus says:

        After Arsenal rejected the idea of paying St Etienne for him to play the final whilst also ignoring our fitness plan for him. St Etienne stopped him not us. What is it with our fanbase and negatively spinning news that isn’t negative (Suarez bid was another classic example of the club doing nothing wrong and the fans falling for very obvious spin.)

        1. Declan says:

          Angus, the voice of sense in a pond of negativity.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Absolutely correct!!!!

  3. DaJuhi says:

    The whole Saliba-saga has to be the most terrible, most laughable situation this club has ever handled.

    Well not selling Sanchez->swap him for Mkhitaryan-> let Mkhitaryan go for free, is pretty close.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      DaJuhi, Mhikatarian paid £500k to buy out his contract with Arsenal, so strictly not free.

  4. gunnerforlife says:

    There is no question of Saliba not playing the Olympics, it is such a pride to represent your country. And what is the guarantee MA would have started him anyway? It is best for Saliba to trust his intution and follow his career where it suits him best rather than trust MA. He is a young talent with so many suitors and Arsenal will be the biggest loser if he leaves. He has been so unfairly treated for the last 2 years, for no fault of his, not even being given a fair chance to prove himself.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      👍

  5. gotanidea says:

    A good manager surely knows how important the international duties for a youngster and I reckon Arteta as an excellent one

  6. Dan kit says:

    Saliba should take every chance That comes his was ATM ,playing at the Olympics for his country will keep him in good steed for his future call ups to the France squad .
    The kids young and the experience will do him no harm at all ,if the rumours are true about maybe he’s leaving us anyway I’m not sure why he would he be bothered what Arteta thinks and must be thinking he should be doing what’s best for him not a club and manager who have treated him appallingly the last 12 months .

    #ArsenalFCnotArtetaFc

  7. Dan kit says:

    Saliba should take every chance That comes his was ATM ,playing at the Olympics for his country will keep him in good steed for his future call ups to the France squad .
    The kids young and the experience will do him no harm at all ,if the rumours are true about maybe he’s leaving us anyway I’m not sure why he would he be bothered what Arteta thinks and must be thinking he should be doing what’s best for him not a club and manager who have treated him appallingly the last 12 months .

    #ArsenalFCnotArtetaFc

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      It seems you cannot post one comment without having a dig at Arteta. It’s baffling, because we never saw this kind of enthusiasm for wanting Wenger out, despite him causing far more damage, and failing for so much longer than Arteta.

      I guess managers shouldn’t be given time anymore, especially when inheriting a complete mess of a club. I guess, change managers every 6 months into their first full season if it’s not working. Sounds like a great plan!

      1. Dan kit says:

        And it seems you can’t comment without bringing up Wenger or Ozil so we have that in common I suppose ,like I’ve said countless times I have no interest in conversing with you again so stop trying to get a reaction out of me (even though you did this time )so I suggest you go and have a conversation with someone that actually wants to read what you post ,because I’m nOt that person ,hope that helps with your future posts buddy and GL 👍

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          😂😂😂

          I was already laughing at the first sentence because I knew a traditional Wenger dig is coming.

          I am witnessing a kettle calling the pot black live in action! Free of charge!

          1. Kieron says:

            I don’t think he’ll risk him, but why we would consider paying 50m for Ben White when we’ve already wasted 27m on saliba who knows.
            There is more to this than his footballing skills though, gut feeling.

            Ot
            Xhaka worth more money now??
            He never ever gets to that level for us.

        2. ThirdManJW says:

          I’ll miss your trolling Dan kit, and debunking you every time. Oh well, hopefully you’ll go off and sort your IQ and learn about Arsenal FC, and it’s history.

          Good luck in all your endeavors!

          1. jon fox says:

            Apart from precisely the last four lines ONLY of his article, it is pleasantly unusual to be able for once to agree with an article by PATRICK.

            I firmly disagree with his last four lines however and see SALIBA staying in the longterm and becoming a cornerstone of our defence, though, as PATRICK writes, not until September or, IMO, more probably October.

            BTW, I also firmly agree with TMJW ‘s comments about how disgracefully so many fans treat MA , esp compared tohow so many of them never saw an iota wrong with AW, despite his long term unconcern and cavalier neglect for the vital importance of a proper defence.

          2. ken1945 says:

            Yes Dan…. remember how many “numerous times” The Arsenal threw away ties from the first away leg, or how many times MA played in humiliating defeats under AW, or telling everyone UE was going to take us to the promised land, or that Lichsteiner was a good deal as he was free (but costing us over £4,000,000 in wages!!!!), or believing that city had a better record under UE and MA than AW.

            Come on Dan, take a leaf out of TMJW’s book… if you don’t know the facts, just make some up and hope nobody spots or remembers them😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          3. Alanball08 says:

            TMJW
            I will convers with you all day long even if Dan the man has blanked you 😃

        3. SueP says:

          Blimey Dan kit
          You described me as easily offended

      2. MartinelliTheBench says:

        You hit the nail on the head TMJW…..a manager with ZERO experience should definitely not be in charge of, as you say, “a complete mess of a club”.

        No-one said anything about changing managers every 6 months. Time should be given I agree, but to someone who has proven they can do the job in the past. Giving time to someone who has zero track record is a dangerous game to play with such a big club.

        Would you invest your pension/life savings with someone that’s never been in charge of a financial portfolio in their life? Probably not, and AFC is a hell of a lot bigger than that.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          If I had a nickel for every contradiction I read I would have enough to buy Kroenke out and still have some amount left.

  8. A J says:

    I know you will cite all sorts of arguments regarding different times/ circumstances and so on – and I’m sure some of you points will be very valid, and well made.

    But after a less then head turning career (Nancy, Monaco & Nagoya) the question was raised at the time when a certain manager was given the job at our place ………………………..

    ARSENE WHO ?

    Let’s be honest, not one of us had a bloody clue who Wenger was.

    Every Gooner knows the rest is history – but my post specifically refers to the initial reaction i.e.

    ARSENE WHO managing Arsenal football club ?

    A few on here touted Benitez for the job at our place.

    Given comparison is now (unfortunately) a fair point between Everton and ourselves, and dependant on each clubs summer dealings, let’s just see what our “rookie” managers record looks like next season against the vastly experienced trophy winning Benitez.

    I back us to finish above Everton (with Rafa at the helm) next season EVERY day of the week.

    There were some also calls for Ancelotti on here – finished 2 points behind M A

    We need to wait until these bloody Euro’s are out of the way , do our business (of which we know nothing yet) and take it from there.

    1. SueP says:

      Go for it AJ!

      1. A J says:

        Got to SueP.

        Full on next season, with some new faces / personalities out there (let’s hope we buy correctly).

        Last season, however poor, has gone.

        No more excuses, fully focused on the league (a domestic pot would be nice also).

        Personally, can’t wait ….. COME ON YOU REDS !!

    2. Sue says:

      As underwhelming as Ancelotti was, he still did the double over MA… let’s pray Rafa doesn’t follow suit 😄

      1. A J says:

        You’re right Sue.

        But Leno at the Em’s …..ouch 🙁

        1. A J says:

          Sorry – specifically against Everton I meant 😉

  9. gunnerforlife says:

    Saliba’s treatment is a fair reflection of MA, nothing more to say. He simply cannot be compared to someone who led the club for 2 decades, brought laurels to the club, defined the Arsenal way of playing football and made millions of fans round the world love Arsenal for what it is. MA’s tactics, both in theory and practice, have ruined everything. We are going from bad to worse with each passing year. Nothing less than a miracle will save Arsenal now, realistically speaking.

    1. ken1945 says:

      BRILLIANT POST Gunner for life – nothing to add…. except we all hope MA can be just as successful.

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken, what evidence can you put forward for your clearly untrue claim that “we all hope MA can be just as successful”!

        Oh yes, I agree that what you say SHOULD AND OUGHT to be the case. But, disgracefully it is not Ken, as so many posts on JA that constantly call for MA’s head almost daily, make obvious.

        You know exactly who those regular MA out brigade are, as well as I do. So do all other fair minded Gooners who equally condemn their self entitled selfishness.
        I say all this as someone who in an ideal world would also prefer an Allegri, a Nagelsman, and other world proven names to MA.
        But those who know the football world is not ideal and never will be (in the forseeable future) are wise and not self entitled.

        1. ahmad73 says:

          Jon: I for one want MA to do well as I want my club to be successful. That despite the fact that I think MA is out of his depth managing Arsenal. I think, like Ken, all true Arsenal fans want MA to be successful.

          1. jon fox says:

            ahmad Yes all TRUE Fans do indeed want us to be successful even under MA.

            But my whole point was that so many fans are NOT true fans andthey hope we lose, in order to get their wish of MA being sacked. They are disgraceful and just fake fans IMO.

        2. Ozziegunner says:

          I for two want MA to be successful; however apart from commendably winning the FA Cup, he needs to show considerable improvement to build my confidence. Being one for equitable treatment I compare the consideration given MA compared to Wenger and Emery.

          1. ken1945 says:

            There’s your answer Jon… any true Gooner wants the club to be successful – funnily enough though, I can remember certain fans wanting AW to fail…. any idea who that was???

          2. Reggie says:

            The best thing in the world would be for Arteta to be a success BUT he has been anything other than! I speak as i see and i see nothing to make me hopeful. We are a joke club and that is down to kranky. We play awful football and that is down to the manager. If it all changes next season HAPPY DAYS. Im not putting my shirt on it though.

          3. Sue says:

            Yes Ken, as well as losing every remaining game so AW would be sacked. And he’s now calling others ‘fake fans’ and ‘disgraceful’ for wanting the same thing with MA. What a very short memory he has!!! 😂

          4. ken1945 says:

            Glad you also remember Sue, it’s funny how Jon forgets what he has said in the past – then becomes a Saint in shining armour, telling everyone else what a true supporter should do, when others are doing EXACTLY what he did!!!
            In fact, he said that he wouldn’t mind if AW was injured if it meant he was unable to carry on – perhaps he has mellowed in his old age, such is the turn around in his thinking????

          5. Reggie says:

            Thing is Sue Jon doesn’t accept opinion unless its his opinion. If jon doesn’t think the same the other person is an idiot, immature, child or whatever derogatory remark he can come up with. Still we all love him 😉

          6. jon fox says:

            So glad you love me Reggie. MANY DO. AS LONG AS YOU STOP SHORT OF FANCYING ME, EH!

            And as for the untrue posts of Ken, Sue and you, who all lied about what I wrote: – in actuality, all their comments on my remarks were deliberately not reported in the precise context in which my original AW comments were carefully phrased, and therefore which completely and deliberately misrepresent them, which does not surprise me one bit!

            But I still luv all of you too! Though I never fancy lies, no matter who writes them.

            But its such a cheap and lazy trick to take past remarks wildly and deliberately out of context and then misquote them back later on. Sigh!

          7. Kstix says:

            This is all what we’ve been saying Oz. But they label us as negative. If you couldn’t accept mediocre under Arsene and emery, who had better records by the way, why accept it now if it is not pure sentiments and bias. We have no football ideology for the first time in a long while.

  10. Dunchirado says:

    Ozzie,If you have your way, you’ll love Emery to be back at Arsenal than MA be successful

    1. Adajim says:

      I once asked him about this, I feel he still having hangover from UE era lol.
      I understand old fans like Ozzie , Grandad etc are finding it hard to accept a rookie manager as the one in charge of the ‘great’ club and with board owners and not so good performance, they are getting impatient, however, IMO, the coach isn’t that bad and he has convinced me he has what it takes to get us competing again if properly backed.
      People complain he doesn’t like young players but now we all can see an half season involvement with ESR has really raised his value to an elite , now he is worth £40m at least, Martinez played under him for just half a season and we all see his improvement, Xhaka, Saka(who most certainly criticised him for playing Saka in the right side)

    2. Ozziegunner says:

      Dunchirado, please read what I wrote. I can not understand how you drew that conclusion. At the time I considered Emery had not been properly supported and should have been given more time.
      However as far as Emery returning that will not happen.
      Terry Neil was sacked for losing 11 games in a season as Arsenal manager. Mikel Arteta has lost 13. All I believe in is consistency and fairness.
      The Board has decided to continue with Arteta and hopefully they will support him to succeed. Time will tell.

    3. Kstix says:

      But Emery, with all his short comings is still a better coach than Arteta. That’s fact, the records speak for themselves. I want Arteta to be successful but he has up till date, not given me any hope that that will happen. I backed him when he got the job but the first mistake he made was letting martinez go for peanuts to a rival who did the double over us. Then he kept on makining mistakes upon mistakes from there on out till covid forced his hand to play the young boys who proved him wrong. And for some reason he didn’t know how to stop the mistakes. The highlight of his season was playing without a striker for the most important game of your career. You want me to put my hope in that cluelessness? All I can hope for now is that he has learned his lessons and will make better decisions and stay humble enough to admit when he makes mistakes. You need to see him after some losses with his deflated ego talking about how many crosses we had. Enough said. Hope he learns and does better as the board have given us no choice but to support him for the new season.

  11. Ximplicity says:

    All these MA this, MA that posts are becoming boring. We are all connected together via Arsenal and we all want one thing; a successful club both and off the pitch. We could argue, throw tantrums, jibes, vibes, laughter etc at one another, it’s all because of our club and it’s normal because I realise we all have different temperament. Unless an Arsenal staff is on JA reading and making comments, our club don’t even know our names neither we do exist, so as many dudes here too (barring the exist comment)..
    All I’m pleading is that we shouldn’t take our posts and comments too personal, we are all here to have fun and entertain ourselves.
    I think the way MA started his Arsenal coaching career gun blazing swept fans off their foot and were expecting more from him last season but got disappointed really made lot not to trust him & truly I don’t blame them because nobody wants failure after tasting victory but we just have to believe he could turn things around after his messed up full first season., my opinion

  12. Adajim says:

    Media is manipulating us and we are allowing this. The clubs or MA hasn’t come out to say Saliba has no future with us, he is 20yo and I doubt it’s reasonable for a club of arsenal status with lost of pressure to rely on a 20yo epl unproven kid. A loan to an epl player or an opportunity to fight his place in the team isn’t out of order. We are mostly considering the price we paid 2yrs ago but not the age/ pressure and expectations on him in a sensitive position like cob where one bad game could destroy him totally. To me it seems MA is trying to protect the guy but giving him time to acquire experience elsewhere

  13. Sean Williams says:

    Sadly the whole ‘Zeitgeist’ around Arsenal has gone wrong. The owners, the manager and many of the players do not carry the spirit of our great club. Worst of all the owners accept second best.
    I hope we buy our new players before pre-season to bed in and stop us losing points early in the season. If we wait too long other teams will pick off the players we seem to be dithering over. Anyway I really hope Saliba stays and becomes another great Frenchman at this club.

  14. TommyGun says:

    Secure him a PL loan until January, with the option to extend if he isn’t needed with us. Would like to see him get to grips with the league without the pressure of putting on our shirt. If he thrives, bring him back and give him his chance.

  15. Reggie says:

    I would be very surprised if Saliba represents this club in the prem as a regular under Arteta.

  16. Jah son says:

    Graham Potter is a better manager than Arteta. Looking at the resale value of his players speaks volume. Not saying he should be our manager just showing he improves players and have a set system of play. If bisouma comes to arsenal Arteta will have him Looking like Partey in no time.
    #arteta out

    1. Sean Williams says:

      Jah son

      Totally agree.

    2. SueP says:

      Back to Arteta bashing Jah son?
      I’ve missed you!😃

    3. Alanball08 says:

      Hehehehe
      Not that I agree with you one.bit but have missed you
      Do hope you have been keeping well

  17. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations to Xhaka and Swiss team. Great win

    1. ken1945 says:

      Hear Hear Stephanie, what a performance from the Xhaka and his team.

      1. Chuxzzy1 says:

        Xhaka isn’t a bad player at all has a fantastic eye for passing just like the 3 goal

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          👍 Great pass, credit where it is due!

    2. Benjamin says:

      I hope Mr.JF doesn’t read your comment about Xhaka.😂

      1. jon fox says:

        Oh I read it alright Benny boy! And I can see you are well aware of what I’d think of that comment, so no need to confirm your stance on my Xhaka opinion.

        I seriously believe his likely impending departure will free our club from the long term past stultifying funereal pace of passing in our midfield. On ereason for our lack of goals has been a complete inability to get thr ball to our strikers far swifter. Telegraphed and easy to read long passes are virtually useless in our 100 mile per hour Prem. One reason then why his slower pace is better suited to international football than to the Prem.

        I think we will be amazed how freeing it will be when he leaves. THOUGH I PERSONALLY WILL NOT, OF COURSE, BE REMOTELY AMAZED, AS I HAVE LONG CALLED FOR THIS TORTOISE TO LEAVE.

  18. Quantic Dream says:

    Hope MA is fired by January so we don’t lose Saliba.

    1. Admin Pat says:

      So your logic is that you hope Arsenal lose lots of games so Arteta gets fired? Just to keep one defender that has never played in the EPL?

      Really??

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        My logic is I hope MA is actually shown the door this time round when he inevitably delivers the same type of results that he has been delivering for the past 2 seasons.

        1. RSH says:

          quantic, he’ll be gone by jan. if he keeps up the poor results. And nothing to suggest that Arteta will magically not be a below average manager, so we’ll just have to wait it out together.

      2. jon fox says:

        Benjamin is plainly one of JA”s deepest thinking fans, eh PAT! I fully agree that all are entitled to their various opinions but wouldn’t it be lovely if some actual THOUGHT could accompany them. Sigh!

        1. jon fox says:

          Apols to Benjamin, as my above comment applied to QD, not him.

    2. Joe Gunner says:

      Comon now, let’s give MA the last chance to prove himself

  19. gunnerforlife says:

    Xhaka played so well for Switzerland that sometimes it is difficult to believe it is the same Xhaka playing for Arsenal. He provided the crucial assist for the third and equalising goal and throughout the match played very well, won the bbc motm place. If he plays like this for Arsenal, than wow! Best of luck Xhaka and the Swiss team against Spain.

    1. Ade says:

      I understand the negative energy some of fans and put it towards MA, it is because the club is not doing very well right now, going by the position we ended the last season but we should not forget MA inherited bad team. secondly I don’t think we need to transfer the aggression to him about Saliba because Arsenal or MA has not come out to tell us the true picture og what is going to happen to him and the boy is going to Olympic that will affect him to start the season with the club for few weeks. I will suggest we wait so as to know the decision of the club about him. However, Arsenal signing Ben white to me is a good decision we need a world class Defender in our team.

    2. RSH says:

      he doesnt play like this for Arsenal tho. So i dont know why we’re having a conversation about keeping a consistent underperformer. Should we sign players based off of a few tournament games now?

  20. gunnerforlife says:

    N.B. Xhaka cannot play against Spain due to yellow card accumulation.

  21. Joe.S says:

    Sums it all up with Xhaka, doesn’t it?

  22. Adeyemi says:

    My opinion about Xhaka, he’s a good player last season he was among the best player in the team, he played more games than others, and we can all see what he did today in Switzerland team against France. I will suggest Arsenal should keep him. Arsenal should get a replacement before selling him, it is not a good idea to sell one of your best player although I don’t know much about his contract situation maybe, he refuses to extend his contract because I know Arsenal is trying to do clear out about any players that has less than two years in their contract, and that’s a good idea from Arsenal board

    1. Alanball08 says:

      Adeyemi

      I couldn’t bare another season with xhaka in the team
      Said it many a time
      Good bench warmer but never a starter for us
      We can do better and will do this season
      Give him some credit , he had some decent games but he has a mistake in him which costs us so many times
      the season is soon to start again so i will remain positive
      Let’s see what next season brings us
      Joy, pain and some heart ache
      That’s why we love the game so much

  23. Aaron says:

    Play the kid!

  24. gerry burke says:

    it is becoming increasingly frustrating to reply to most posts on this page. there are a group of three or four people on here waiting to pounce on every little comment. the ring leader, unashamedly, brings our former manager mr.wenger into just about every conversation, why not let the past reside in the past . move on please, your lord and guru is gone , not coming back.i know of some people on here who will not comment because there is one sniper in the tall grass just waiting for somebody to comment, and then comes the wenger comments.a fanatic is a very bad thing ,in any walk of life.i thank the gods, the old ones and the new , that, i dont have to put up with these ,less than a handful,of individuals ,in person.there is one gentleman , who stands out alone, who, can fight his own corner, and then some, without him, this place would be gone to the dogs, or, cats, in this case.here we are in the off season still arguing, and this is all down to one individual, he who uses wengers name to fan the flames of discontent. give it up dude, you are not fooling anybody, except yourself.

    1. Alanball08 says:

      GB
      Great initials actually by the way
      Best thing is to ignore but it’s a place where you can express your views and opinions
      The snipers will run out of bullets next season and have to go back to hiding in the tall grass

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