Arteta can’t afford to let Saliba slip through his fingers

Arteta should not underestimate Saliba

Sunday’s Le Classique or the match contested between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain, which is equivalent to Spain’s El Clásico, had a very different and unexpected hero.

After two disallowed goals, Kylian Mbappe was through on goal by an exceptional Lionel Messi pass. The Frenchman must have certainly thought of being the night’s matchwinner.

However, fast forward five seconds, and it was another Frenchman who was celebrating like he has scored a winning goal in a chaotic night.

It was William Saliba. The 20-year-old has had a stellar start to his career at The Stade Vélodrome. He has played 12 games for the French side, keeping a clean sheet in five of them.

Arsenal just cannot afford to let go of a defender of this caliber. He’s just 20 and considering that this season is Saliba’s fourth season in the topflight is crazy.

Ruben Dias made the switch from Benfica B to the senior team at the same stage, Kalidou Koulibaly was playing for Ligue 2 side Metz. And even Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic‎ was playing for Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

Although these types of comparisons are unfair as different players develop distinctively, but just imagine if all things go right. Arsenal fans can be in for a treat!

But for that to happen, Mikel Arteta and Edu need to convince Saliba that he is part of their plans. They need to assure him that his future lies at the Emirates Stadium and not somewhere else.

A defensive unit of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel, William Saliba, Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares is an exciting prospect.

Having not kicked a single ball for the first team and still being a fan favourite is not something you see everyday in world football, let alone Arsenal.

And there’s a reason behind it: he’s special.

Yash Bisht

Tags Arteta PSG Saliba


  1. Let’s keep Mari rather and sell Saliba….it’s good he’s out on loan because he could never gain experience playing in the EPL.

  2. I’ll tell you what, if Emirates had a roof it would be blown off if Saliba ever suits up for Arsenal.

    Three doesn’t go into two and Arteta had three young CBs who needed regular game time. As long as Saliba knows he is in Arsenal’s future plans and wants to be here, this extra one year loan could turn into a great move.

  3. We have some poor centre backs….but we have two ‘gooduns’ in White and Gabriel. Mari is slower than Southern Railways. Chambers is OK and Holding pretty middle of the road. What Arteta did to Saliba is lacking in wisdom and ethics even. If Arteta gains some understanding of his own character and puts Arsenal first, we could have a top player in Saliba. We can all see that Arteta is a bit of a touchline control freak, micro manager, grudgeful one, but that is OK if he compensates with wisdom. Saliba is a very good CB and we don’t have many ‘gooduns’ in that position.

    1. Oh dear SEAN!! You seriously imagine Arteta holds personal grudges? HOW WRONG AND FOOLISH CAN YOU BE!

  4. Not sure what else he needs to see really. Saliba playing very well against Mbappe and Messi, so pretty sure he can handle Vardy and Watkins up top.

    Hard to imagine Saliba not being able to beat out Mari and Holding, looking to challenge White and Gabriel when he returns.

    I’ve said this before; Saliba & Gabriel at CB with White as DM. Not only are we strong defensively, but White at DM allows Partey and Sambi to play further up and helps us press opponents higher up the pitch.

  5. Saliba agreed that another loan deal was in his interest and he was allowed to choose the club he was to go to.
    Can’t see any problem here, as the player himself hasn’t said he doesn’t want to come back to The Arsenal.

      1. Please explain??
        By the way, I am actually on earth and not listening to unfounded rumours from the media.

        1. AMN chose his own loan club, so that means all was well about him?

          Please come back to earth

          Were you expecting Saliba to say the loan was a wrong move when he’s enjoying his current club? What would his current manager and teammates think of him calling his time at their club “wrong”?

          Please come back to earth

          If you were him, would you want to come back to Arsenal given that you’ve been given no chance and your replacement has been signed?

          Please come back to earth

          1. The statement being posed in the article was:
            “Arteta should not underestimate Saliba”….. still here on earth?

            Saliba said he was happy to go out on loan…. still here on earth?

            Arteta said he could choose the club he wanted to go out on loan to…. still here on earth?

            Saliba has said he is happy with the choice he made, but agrees with MA that the loan move was a good idea…. Still here on earth?

            It’s your view that “his replacement” has been signed….. not MA’s or the clubs, as has been said by the manager himself… so please come back to earth and realise that your OPINION does not tally with either the player, the manager, or the club.
            Unless, as I said before, you can repute what has been said, with factual quotes… now that would keep everyone on earth in the picture.

          2. Rather be on Earth than under a stone on the earth as you are! A post beyond all comprehension and belief by you!

  6. Put yourself in Saliba and his agents shoes and you will see why Saliba will fight tooth and nail to force a move away. He was signed under another manager and Arteta has shown absolutely no trust in Saliba at all, loaning him out for two summers, without even a chance to show what he can do. He has been good enough to get rave reviews from the French media for two seasons and played from day one by his teams, even being denied a chance to play in a cup final by Arsenal. He has no allegiance to Arteta and Arsenal and has found trust away from this club while also playing CL football. This club can not guarantee any of what he has done this last two seasons, not least because he doesn’t have the confidence in our set up to even play. He isnt an Arsenal player, he has had his successes in France and he wont put his future at risk by coming back to Arsenal, for what? Its strange as well, that Gouendouzi is his captain at Marseille, so he wont have to go far to find out first hand what it is like to get the Arsenal/Arteta cold shoulder and see how you career can get blunted and boosted, depending on how your manager trusts you, or not!

    1. Arteta apologists will never agree with you sir. Even if he kills someone, there will always be an excuse as to why he did it. His ego is so over bloated that he(where is Edu?) let Guendouzi go for next to nothing of his value, killed Torreira’s value for no cause and is letting a future world class defender go…all to satisfy his own ego…to say he’s using his own players. Some fans on JA are even saying that until he gets HIS OWN striker in January, we should all be patient and understand when the team doesn’t score goals . Again I ask…where is our technical director and what is his job?

      1. It wasn’t really a post for anyone to agree or disagree with, i was just pointing out facts as to why Saliba will think twice about his future and where he will be best served for his future. People will agree and disagree with me but the fact remains Saliba isnt or won’t be counting down the days until he comes back to his beloved Arsenal.

  7. Manager arrogantly casts away player and keeps dross(Mari I’m looking at you) because he signed him

    Player keeps doing exceptionally well on loan

    Some fans say the manager is justified cos the player keeps “DOING WELL EVERY SEASON ON LOAN”

    Let’s see how this all turns out

    1. dgr8xt….. You are stating YOUR opinion – you have no factual evidence to back up your claim regarding Saliba (the subject of this article).
      Of course, if you have, then give everyone the opportunity to read it.
      I’m quoting both MA and Saliba by the way, so let’s see what you come up with!!!!

      These are MY opinions and I’m not an apologist for anyone – so pull your neck in and discuss with fellow Gooners, rather than trying to denigrate them

      1. Now you’re getting all emotional. Like someone on JA said one time, professional sportsmen and coaches never give away anything openly. It’s rare. Saliba will always say that the loan was good. You would do the same if you were him. I’m simply stating the obvious

        1. way to stick to your guns dgr8xt…nothing you’ve said was unreasonably arrived at considering the circumstances surrounding this particular player…no matter the ultimate result of this misguided “experiment”, which I feel will end with us not having this player wearing the kit unless a managerial change is forthcoming, could be logically construed as an Arteta masterstroke

  8. There will be a situation this next summer where decisions will have to be made by Arsenal, Saliba and his agent. His contract i believe will be at the point where it will be approaching the two year zone, where Arsenal wont want it running any lower and Saliba will more than likely have options. It will be interesting because Arsenal can offer whatever they like but Saliba wont have played a single game for Arsenal, his contract will be running down, Salibas stock will more likely have gone up in France even more and something will have to give. What will his agent advise?

    1. Good post Reggie.
      I guess a lot depends on where we finish, if we can offer european football and how the other CB’s have performed.
      There is also the possibility of a new manager to consider.
      The idea of playing White as a DM is an interesting one for me as well.
      The Arsenal was the chosen destination by Saliba and I think he would want to prove a point.
      I do agree that a definitive decision will be made – new contract or sold and I only hope that bridges will not have been burnt by the time all the above come to fruition.

      1. If Saliba is hot propery this summer ken, it will be interesting. He is ours but i just wonder if he will hold all the cards as to what happens to him.

      2. That’s the thing we all fear, and why many are so displeased with the way Arteta has gone about the player and his future. Leaving him out for an entire six months playing under 23 football, not even Europa League, while Mari and the likes remain. Any player who has been treated like that will want an exit. Bridges might just have been burnt sir

  9. I remember getting a lot of stick when I first mentioned that I could only envision Saliba returning to the Emirates if Arteta’s ultimate intention was to move White further up the pitch, in the DM position, or play him wider right within a back 3

    of course, if this were the case, Arteta would likely face considerable criticism in light of the massive investment, as it’s one thing to pay over the number for someone you project to be a future CB stalwart, but it’s another thing altogether to pay a premium for a tweener, who might be shoehorned into a position in which he has no real experience playing

    I personally believe that we will likely miss out on Saliba, unless there’s a managerial change here by season’s end, and White will remain as the regular RCB…I can only assume that if Arteta was even postulating such a positional shift for White, he would have shown some inkling in this regards already, as the injury to our 3-wheeled shopping cart provided him with the perfect opportunity to experiment, especially in a cup affair, like the other night, when he could have rolled out Holding and Mari, with White as DM

    the worst case scenario would be for him to loan out Saliba, use White all season in the RCB, then try to enact these changes next year, as it would seem incredibly illogical for him to have wasted another year in tinkering and settling-in mode

  10. Very interesting view from Kevin Campbell regarding this subject on YouTube.
    He has his feet planted firmly on earth and gives his views on how MA is handling the situation.
    Well worth a read, if only to see what a professional thinks about the situation, rather than knocking the club/manager.

  11. By the way folks, Mari was unavailable as MA stated and that was why White played.
    Thought we all knew that?

  12. Even if Saliba returns what makes u think he is going to gel with his team mates..
    In as much as Arteta’s fan boys want to see it.. Arteta doesn’t rate him, if they do atleast he would have signed an extension before leaving.. It’s not only about Arteta, he is a crap man manager in all clarity but what about our supposedly technical director, What is his role in all of this? Or is Mikel both manager and technical director?
    I get the plan he will return next year and starts a few game, would play badly cos his yet to play with any of the current Arsenal squad.. so he will flop and then Arteta will say he was right to give him out on loan.. Marseille or Newcastle will come knocking back and he will be sold for 8m cos he will only have a year left in his contract… Yeah Weldon Mikel.
    On what excuses was he given a second loan at Nice in the first place, he should have been allowed to grow here, is not as if he was angling for game time, If the argument is cos he was bought from the so called not competitive french league, so where did we buy Gabriel then? Where did Fofona come from?? With all the fuzz about french league they produce the best defensive minded players in Europe..
    If not anything, isn’t it obvious the treatment of Emery’s players by Arteta.. look around u which Emery’s signing is actually playing? apart from Gabriel who though is good but he is playing with the advantage that he is only better than Mari in the left center back role..
    Tierney wasn’t really any competition, surely is only a matter time he would be replaced soon..
    He is either using Wenger’s signings, his signings or academy graduates… Facts irrespective of how u choose to see it or back him

  13. PV&LB ICONS 2 young (19ish) centre backs were playing together in the French League for St Etienne. Both were transferred to Premier League clubs for around £30m at about the same time. One went to Arsenal, the other to Leicester. One has never played a Premiership game for his club, the other has become one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Brendan Rogers 1 Mikel Arteta 0. Comments please.

  14. This loan move only makes him better and that only benefits Arsenal, whether through sale or, more likely, starting in a 3/rotating with White and Gabriel next season.

    Also, to the people who keep referencing “Arteta fanboys” in every other post, god you are embarrassing.

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