Arsenal loanee tipped to ‘walk’ his way into the first-team next season

Arsenal loanee William Saliba has earned huge praise from former Gunner Stephy Mavididi who claims that he will walk his way into the first-team on his return to north London.

The defender is yet to make his senior debut for the club after his signing from St Etienne back in the summer of 2019. The defender was immediately returned to St Etienne on loan for that initial campaign, but joined up with the Gunners early after the Coronavirus pandemic ended the season early.

Despite arriving with big expectations, the centre-back wasn’t able to convince Mikel Arteta that he was deserving of a role in the senior squad, and was eventually sent out on loan in January to Nice. He impressed on his return to Ligue 1, but was once again overlooked in the summer as the club preferred to invest in another defender in Ben White, before loaning the 20 year-old to Marseille for this season.

Saliba is once again earning major plaudits in the French division, and the latest praise has come from one of our former academy stars in Stephy Mavididi, who claims is amongst the best players in France at present.

“That guy’s a player,” Mavididi told LiveScore (as reported by the Express).

“He’s hands down one of the best defenders in the league, hands down. I think he’ll walk back into the Arsenal team next season.

“When I played against him last year I thought: ‘How is this guy not playing at Arsenal?’.

“He’s strong, good on the ball, he reads the game well. Sometimes you walk off the pitch and think – fair play man, respect.

“The defender has kept up with you, out tussled you, out quitted you, you have to say fair play, this guy’s a good player.

“He’s one of the best centre-backs I’ve faced. Everyone can talk about Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Jerome Boateng, but he’s up there.

“He’s the one that surprised me the most. I’m an Arsenal fan too and playing against Saliba I thought, we’ve got a very decent defender here!”

It is a little confusing that he has continued to be overlooked in north London despite showing enormous amounts of potential and ability in France. This summer will be an interesting one, as a decision on Saliba will surely have to be made.

Arsenal fans have been crying out to see him given his chance in the first-team, and he will surely be expecting to return to north London in the summer with a view to breaking into the fold, and failing to offer him that chance could well see him push for an exit instead. Who could blame him?

If Arteta cannot find room for him at Arsenal, there will likely be a number of clubs around Europe who would jump at the chance to sign one of Europe’s hottest prospects, but the Spanish manager will likely come under intense scrutiny if he cannot find a way to make this work next season.


  1. Must be given the chance to prove his worth at Arsenal, the team he has supported since his boyhood days. Saliba is surely one of the best young talents in Europe. It would a shame if he is not given a run of games next season.

  2. Arteta is creating differences btwn him and players we are tired of this Arteta Ozil, Auba, Pepe, Saliba , better you leave this club Arteta

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