Is there really space for William Saliba in the Arsenal team right now? By Sylvester Kwentua
When William Saliba joined Arsenal in July 2019, he was expected to have a smooth transition into the Premier league, and into the Arsenal team. Joining from Saint-Étienne in France, the defender was surely expected to come and solidify Arsenal’s defence. However, he was returned to France, to continue playing with the club he was coming from, albeit on loan.
Saliba is spending the second year of his five years contract at Arsenal, and apart from a few pre-season games he has been involved in, he has still not gotten a real feel of what playing for Arsenal is like, rather he has been on loan at several great clubs. Playing on loan in France for clubs like Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille, and doing well, is a sign that this young talented defender knows how to play; but then why has he not found it easy breaking into the Arsenal team? After his current loan deal expires, will he be asked to come back to Arsenal and try his luck again, or be asked to leave? Or even sent on another loan?
I am definitely not Arteta, neither am I a part of the Arsenal’s management, but my gut feeling tells me Saliba will be asked to go on another loan deal when he returns, and this may be the trend until his contract expires at Arsenal. Here are my reasons.
Saliba is good:
Lets face it, every club William has played for, he has made his mark. At Saint-Etienne, he was virtually on fire, and little wonder when Arsenal signed him as they had Tottenham and a few other big clubs to contend with. He has found playing time at Arsenal difficult, for no fault of his own. In football, we have heard or read of certain players not playing for a club they signed for, and most times, it is usually not the fault of the players. However, as much as William has not really gotten the opportunity to play for Arsenal, he may just be kept by Arsenal, hoping that someday, he may just get the opportunity he deserves.
Current Arsenal defenders on form:
William Saliba may be lighting up the French league with his football, but Arsenal’s current set of defenders are also doing the same in the EPL. A coach hardly changes his winning team, most especially a defence that has gotten an understanding of each other. Our central defensive pairings, White and Gabriel are doing decently well. The full backs are creating waves from their positions, and the backup defenders are capable of doing a decent job too, if called upon. With a defence that is doing well, Saliba may need to just wait for a period where Arsenal may be faced with a defensive crisis, and will need an emergency backup.
At 20 years of age, William is playing well as a defender, and if he continues in this form, in a few years time, he may be lording it over attackers from his defensive positions. If he still remains at Arsenal while getting to that age of impact, it becomes easy for Arsenal to get him to replace a defender who may have totally lost form, or was leaving.
So guys, would you prefer the club selling William outright or you want the club to still retain ownership of Saliba?
We are Arsenal and proud.