Arteta gives detailed explanation on Saliba situation at last

Arsenal have let their 27m pound signing William Saliba leave to go on loan to Nice for the rest of the season, and in fact he played the full 90 minutes last night in the 2-0 defeat to Brest.

So despite having been an Arsenal player for 18 months, the only playing time he has had is a few matches with the U23 side, and there has been much speculation as to what the hell has been going on.

Dan yesterday wrote a post saying that Arteta should give us honest reasons why Saliba has been frozen out, and the boss must have been listening as he has now made a very long statement on the matter.

Arteta told Goal: “We signed a big project that we had some issues with because he’s not played enough football over the past 18 months and at that age, and in the development phase he is at, that is crucial.

“I was always very conscious when he came back, when he didn’t do the step that he had to before joining us, that to start a relationship with a new manager, a new club, new team-mates where he is not having any game time is really difficult and I think it is damaging for the future.

“I want to protect the player that we signed and the future we have alongside him and the best way to do that is to give him minutes to play.

“He has been really good, it has been a difficult few months for him to cope with that situation but I see the development that he has made, the progression that he has shown over the months and now he is ready to compete.

“He is going to a really strong league as well, a league he knows really well, he has experience [there] and he needs to play as many games as possible to be ready for us from next season.

“He will come back for pre-season and he will be with us, and hopefully he will come back after playing a number of games and [with] his performances raising and his development progressing in the right way. That is why we made that decision.

“I know that sometimes it is difficult to explain or understand after the money the club spent bringing him in, sending him on loan, but a lot of things have happened to him, he is a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well.

“Giving him three or four games is not enough for him, he needs much more than that but what has happened over the past 18 months, he has gone through some personal problems as well that we have to try to help him, and stay as close as possible to him, and now he needs to play, play and play and enjoy his profession as well.

“In order for him to do that I think we have found the right club with him, he is very happy to go there right now and hopefully he can enjoy his football and be ready for us next season.”

Well, it is about time he gave us some details at last, as it has been very cloak and dagger up to now.

I can understand that Saliba really needs to get lots of game time, which is definitely not happening under Arteta! It just seems a bit strange that Arteta has waited six months to tell us what was going on…

READ MORE: Medical done – Arsenal’s first January signing expected to be announced imminently

Tags Arteta Saliba


  1. Unge says:

    Same thing he has said again and again,maybe people just didnt want to listen

  2. Kstix says:

    I’m glad that is sorted out. And I hope that goes without saying to HH and the rest that this can’t be compared to the Ozil case as Saliba hasn’t kicked a ball for us yet. So it’s natural to be more worried about what’s going on with a promising and expensive talent who can’t play for us than an Ozil who is past it as a footballer.

    1. Zamani says:

      Arteta and stories….simply put; we are waiting for luiz contract to end.

  3. Jack says:

    I have respect for Arteta, however it is important to note that Saliba was not even included in Europa league fixtures. Arteta can say anything but it doesn’t justify Slaiba’s exclusion from europa league squad with Chambers Mustafi included even though they were recovering from injury. I do understand past cannot be rectified. It is important that we rebuild our relationship with Saliba and give him confidence to come and commit to the club and we will commit towards his career development and not repeat our follies with any player specially young players. I hope we rectify the situation

    1. Kstix says:

      Did you read his statement?

    2. Joe Allysons says:

      Now I’m beginning to believe some people purposefully reject what is told to them

      1. Lenohappy says:

        Joe Allysons I was very angry at arteta with the way he treated Saliba but after reading this I think I understand where the club is coming from. Good luck to him and I hope he comes back a more mature player.

        1. durand says:

          I felt the same way Lenohappy. It took 6 months to come out and say what is going on, but I’ll praise Arteta for explaining the situation where previously I had commented negatively on him and the situation.

          Still odd not registering him for Europa, but pointless crying over spilt milk. Hopefully the player himself is now content and plans to stay and contribute to our club next year.

          The young man seems a real talent by all reports, and it would be stupid to not give him a chance with us in the PL before putting him up for transfer if that happens this Summer.

          Best of luck to him, and come back to us better, stronger, and more experienced and ready to play with Gabriel.

    3. Khadii says:

      Chill mate..
      He wasn’t included because he was supposed to go out on loan to Saint Etienne again during the summer window, but unfortunately the move broke down on deadline day.
      And the Europa league squad list was already submitted before then.

      Arteta has answered this question in the past, but people who have no idea of what happens behind yhe scenes or in players and coaches lives just choose to believe whatever they want to and propagate an agenda.

      Its unfortunate that some fans cause unrest amongst the players and club especially with the use of social media.

      Fans keep comparing Saliba with his former teammate Fofana at Leicester, but forget they are both different individuals at different clubs with Saliba going through personal and emotional problems.

      Ilicic of Atalanta broke down at the end of last season upon discovering his wife was having an affair and he couldn’t complete the rest of the season even the champions league.. And that’s an experienced player.. let alone a 19yrs old who lost his mother and had to move to a foreign country alone.

      Even Tierney spoke about having to adapt even feeling lonely during his injuries. And he’s from the Uk.

      We often forget these players are first of all human beings not robots and must be protected at all cost.
      Because once you mishandle young players, it could affect their mentality in ways they may never recover from.

      Support the club, Support the manager because they are the ones who have direct contact with these players.

      On to Newcastle.. Let the Partey begin!!!

      1. durand says:


        Well said, I think you articulated what many of us feel, although sometimes our frustrations can take precedence over common sense.

        1. Khadii says:


      2. jon fox says:

        What a superb post full of human understanding and proper context. Well said! How I wish fans were ALL like you.

  4. GunnerDev says:

    I thought this was all common knowledge, just a few people on here refuse to see it the way it is.

  5. Dan kit says:

    My money is on we never see him play for us .
    Like I said yesterday Saliba is a signing from that cowboy back room team and Frank Emery Spencer.
    We have already seen him get rid of the bog standard players IE Guendouzi Torreira .
    All I took from that press conference was that he is t good enough ,I could be wrong OFC ,but he’s had time to asses him and now 6 months later sends him off .

    1. ArsenalWhy says:

      Completely agree Dan. If Arteta rated the player he would have given him a few minutes in one of the many different competitions. 27m wasted.

  6. David Pohlman says:

    Honestly,, I often wonder how some of you people can justify yourselves and call yourselves Arsenal supporters. Some of you seem to be born whingers. Typical “Whinging Poms”. Does Arteta have to justify himself 24/7??? Arsenal Football Club is a massive business organization. It’s not bloody well East Enders. The way some of you people carry on, you would think AFC was a soap opera. Let Arteta do his job. He doesn’t need to justify every decision he makes. Next,,,, you’ll be wanting him to tell you every time he has a shit. Some of you need to get over yourselves. It’s lovely weather here in Australia. Only eighteen(18) Covid 19 cases here. The 18 are Aussies that have come from England

    1. jon fox says:

      David, A blissfully true and observant post . The sheer arrogance of SOME fans who always seem to imagine that MA has nothing better to do with his busy time than constantly explain to them every decision he makes.
      If the boot were on the other foot and MA came into their workplace and demanded to know every detail of their jobs, they would quite rightly be appalled. Double standards !!!
      As fans, they should support the club and MA who manages it; not question and query every act he makes. Appalling arrogance and self entitlement!

  7. MrLucky says:

    Can’t believe the negativity on here. Have some trust in the staff. They see and speak to these kids everyday. They probably know better than us with the few information we have. Arteta clearly sees Saliba as the future of Arsenal, but not the present (yet!). And that’s probably for a reason too.

    Arteta is trying to implement a winning culture within the club and if guys like Guendouzi and Ozil doesn’t fit that culture, for whatever reason, then he is right to get rid of them, even if they have so much potential or talent. That Guendouzi is playing this well for Hertha doesn’t automatically mean he has the right mentallity and/or attitude. Same goes for Ozil, who I really rate but is obviously not a winner. I’m not a fan of either Willian and Luiz, but who knows what they bring to the dressing room. Maybe they are real winners who can teach something extra to our young squad

    Give the staff some trust..

  8. Sid says:

    I am glad that MA has sorted it out, and has at least said that he has long term plans for William.

  9. Simon says:

    Arteta is lying

    1. jon fox says:

      A disgraceful charge and post that would make even Donald Trump blush for shame!

  10. David Pohlman says:

    Well said MrLucky and Sid. Since when did a boss have to explain his every decision and justify them to gossip mongering back stabbing so called Arsenal supporter. There’s been some bad culture within the club. Arteta is cleaning it up. But the disgraceful culture within the Arsenal Fan Base will never go. It will be with us sadly forever

  11. Grandad says:

    The most concerning issue on the Saliba signing to me is how on earth did our Scouts fail to appreciate the talent of Fofana who is as good as any CB I have seen in the EPL this season.Did they get their names mixed up?Yet another recruitment mess up.

    1. siamois says:

      Grandad when Saliba was playing in ligue 1 for Saint-Étienne in 2018 Fofana was still playing for their reserve/academy team he made his debut in may 2019 that could explain it.

  12. Grandad says:

    Thanks for the info Siamois ,that may well be the explanation.Fofana is exactly the type of CB we need, someone with real pace .

    1. siamois says:

      You’re welcome!👍

  13. Wayne says:

    I understand that Saliba had suffered an injury and the death of his parents as well,had their impact on him. But, what l never understood was why he was not registered at least in the Europa cup league squad and given the opportunity to play, at a time when Mustafi, Chambers and Mari were injured with no guarantee of their return date to full fitness or preparedness to play matches. Let’s hope that his loan deal works out well for all parties involved and Saliba can have an injury-free spell and regular play time at Nice. From what Arteta has now said, l am optimistic that Saliba will be back at Arsenal next season. Just hope that with Luis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Sokratis and Chambers,all gone by then,will see Saliba get the opportunities to play in the premier league for Arsenal.

  14. A. Dellas says:

    Well Ntinos Mavropanos has a lot of loans for no reason and i think the ideal center backs would be Gabriel, Holding (he is good this season), Saliba, Mavropanos, Chambers. We need competent and ambitious players for the squad. But with all these loans they well never have the time to prove themselves and let’s hope we don’t build cases of players like Emi Martinez, who is brilliant this season for Villa. We have one of the best youth squads

  15. jon fox says:

    AD PAT TRUMPETS THIS STATEMENT IS IF IT IS NEWS that none of us already knew. Well, what I mean by being perceptive – an expression I use a lot – is that some fans easily see what is happpening and accept it, whereas others never notice much at all and even when they are officially told, as in this statement, it seems to come as an almighty shock.
    It really illustrates the difference between those who are perceptive versus those who are agenda ridden and who refuse to accept anything that clashes with their own opinion, even sadly, when its the clear truth. The fault is not the clubs but CERTAIN fans.


  16. Stan Adams says:

    Saliba will get his chance,Mustafi and Luis certs to leave at the end of this season and he will jion Pablo,Rob and Gabriel as our four centre backs which you need given injuries,suspensions and large number of games.

Comments are closed