‘Done and confirmed’ – William Saliba update as pictured in Marseille to complete move

Arsenal defender William Saliba has been closing in on a loan move to Marseille in recent weeks, and looks set to complete his temporary move there over the coming days.

The 20 year-old signed for the club from St Etienne in the summer of 2019, but is yet to make his senior debut for the club, despite spending six months with the squad at the beginning of last term.

The Frenchman eventually left to join Nice on loan in January after growing frustrated with his lack of action, and after impressing in a first-team capacity, was expected to return to Arsenal this summer to show his worth during pre-season, but those thoughts appear to have been dashed.

Saliba is now in Marseille as he looks to take up a third loan spell away from the club, and has been pictured arriving at the club to complete the deal, much like former team-mate Matteo Guendouzi was pictured earlier in the month.

Charles Watts confirms that the deal is expected to be completed in the ‘next few days’, adding that the player will clearly not be with the squad in Scotland as they kick-off their pre-season campaign against Hibernian this evening.

Fabrizio Romano has just tweeted on the subject also, to claim that the move is ‘done and confirmed’.

Should we not have pushed for Saliba to take up a loan in the Premier League in preparation for Arsenal down the line?


Tags Charles Watts Fabrizio Romano William Saliba


  1. This is absolutely disgraceful the way this player has been treated. Shame on Arteta for not even giving him a chance to prove himself.

    1. Heaven help Arsenal should the Ben White deal fall through and he go to Manchester City.

    2. 100% agree with you. William Saliba has been superb when loaned out. I simply don’t understand this one.

  2. Good luck to you Mr Saliba but i think you should have stayed here in England to prove yourself. Apparently Saliba himself opted to go-to France whch is worrying to me.

    His contract situation is another thing. By 2022 he will be 2 years into the end of his contract and if he does well signing him will be a difficult thing. In would have signed him up for another couple of years before sending him on loan.

    So far so good. Everything is still good with Garlic playing tough with the Xhaka deal and some other prudent signings I am a bit calm that the club is moving in the right direction.

  3. Has anyone come up yet with a good reason why another loan to Ligue 1 this time around instead of one in England the best decision for both parties especially if Saliba is really part of the club future plans? what will happen next season? a loan to an English club is that it?

    1. Apparently Arsenal proposed a couple of English clubs which is fair but the player decided to go back to France. Who’s to blame?

      We already have a very shaky defender in Gabriel and playing a 20 year old alongside Gabriel scares even me. If the manager is not confident enough to play him then he should have at least stayed in England but i see a divide in the whole issue.

      I see Saliba and his group being offended in the treatment of the lad and so they might be playing cat and dog with the club to disfavor the club. In the end Saliba will not lose anything but the club if he decides to run down his contract. On the other hand maybe the story will change before that time and we see him sign a new deal.

      1. All valid points but do you think the destination of the loan should have been left to Saliba?last winter MA wanted to send Nelson on loan but he refused abd decided to stay I’m wondering who is making the decisions at the club? shouldn’t the manager put his foot down?i find it somewhat concerning.

        1. I’m all in for “the manager should put his foot down”.

          But, the manager must be thinking hard about “What if the player reciprocates in kind and put his foot up his @r$e???”.

        2. We are living in the 21st century when human right is a big deal. You cannot send me to a destination without my consent. Players are not inanimate object but human beings with feelings. That’s why before a player is offered to another club he has to consent.

          What if the environment is not favourable to their socio-cultural beliefs? In the end the player has the final say what the manager or the club can do is to persuade the player.

        3. My only problem with the manager is that he is not influencing the players to make this decisions that can favour the club in the long run.

    2. As an outsider, I can only speculate based on what I’ve read in the columns so far. Saliba is just a young lad going through some really tough time in his personal life. Even players like Auba and Torreira are affected by things that happened outside of football last season. Saliba may be seeking some home comfort to get through this tough period while being sent on loan (which again is much harder to swallow after waiting patiently for two years to make his debut in Arsenal colors). According to paper talk, the only club that was interested to take him on loan were Newcastle United. In a period like this in his life, how easy will it be for him to spend another year at Newcastle after dreaming of a life in London for two years.

      If we have tried a bit harder to find some PL / Championship club within London to take him on loan for a season, he might have given a thought about staying here in England. I just wish him well for his future, both in and out of football.

          1. I’m surprised how you failed to name Fulham or Crystal Palace or QPR in a list of London based football clubs. May be you were waiting for me to say Chelsea or Spurs, weren’t you?

        1. Crystal Palace, especially with Patrick Vieira as the manager, Brentford, QPR, Fulham. None of these clubs will turn down an offer if we put a tempting incentive to take him on loan for a season.

          Playing in English soil in PL or Championship is much better to prep for life in PL than Ligue 1.

        2. “Couldn’t agree more but Saliba wanted to stay in France.”

          I’d like to know what options were given to Saliba to remain in English soil before he decided to stay in France for one more season.

  4. Ok we will have to assume that Arteta knows best in regards to what’s best for this club, but another disastrous start to the season will definitely lead to fans fallout.

    1. As is only right Mikel Arteta will rise or fall on the results achieved and the outcomes of decisions like loaning William Saliba.

  5. What’s more frustrating is just sell him if you don’t want him really now.

    All that we are doing is letting an extremely expensive youngster run down his contract with us while at the exact same time getting zero benefit from the player in return.

    By the end of this loan he’ll have just 2 years left on his contract and will likely sell him for less than we paid. Incredible business!

    1. PJ everything is not black and white in football. There are many thing we will never know in teams of player contracts and loans. In the end i will love to believe that the club know what they are doing. It’s easier at this moment to just trust the process than worry over issues we can’t change. Hopefully his decision is justified in the end if not he will surely die by it.

      He has surely made some poor decisions which are already unforgivable in the past, like selling Martinez, buying Willian instead of giving Martinelli/Nelson chances… Decisions I assume he has learnt from and so my thinking is that the new set of decisions he’s making are improved upon based on his past failures.

    2. PJ, we are currently in a “bear” market as far as football transfers is concerned ,and as any stockbroker will tell you, that is not the time to sell.I doubt if we will ever see Saliba play for Arsenal in a competitive match.Let’s hope he has a terrific season with Marseilles to encourage one of the top Clubs to come calling.

        1. Well, some visitors were commenting in a different article that Saliba is ONLY worth something, if some top clubs come calling for his services.

          It is called the law of probability. If a player signed on a 5 year contract is sent on loan for three consecutive seasons without making a competitive appearance for the parent club, the probability of making one in the next two years of his contract is next to nothing.

  6. And we are spending 50m+ on a player I’m not sure is that much better.
    And Saliba qualifies as home grown, doesn’t he?
    I don’t understand what Arsenal are doing tbh

  7. This is an absolute nonsense.Loaning him to a Club in France makes no sense at all.
    If he does well this will mean very little as far as his ability to play in the EPL.Similarly it will have no impact upon his transfer value should Arsenal decide to sell him.
    He should have been loaned out far sooner last Season and to a Championship side.There would have been less pressure playing in empty stadiums and he would have become acclimatised to both the playing culture and the language.
    At the end of the coming Sesson Arsenal will have a 21 year old Centre Back with less than 2 years left on his contract who’s value would have undoubtedly diminished and will be none the wiser as to his suitability to play in the EPL.

  8. Saliba should have or try signing for a premiership team to get him up to speed on the physicality and game plays synonymous with the epl instead of going back to France for a 3rd loan spell. It could have help him more and arteta could monitor/ observe his games more just like with willock last season.
    I don’t know who is advising him but he isn’t doing himself any good just prefering loan spells in France while not German last season and england this season? And I have a feeling he has a nasty attitude just not loud as guendozi that why arteta still don’t see him making his team anytime soon.

    1. Am pretty sure your feeling is right and it really doesnt have anything to do with the fact that his mother died a few months after he signed with us, covid19 happened and he found himself (as a 20 year old) for the first time away from his supporting environment during this difficult time. It must also not be related to the fact that he was promised a chance in preseason for 2 years in a row and he didnt get it. Every other team he played at during this time had only good things to say about him by the way. I have a feeling that we, as a club, have not been fair to him, not the other way around and he is absolutely right to try to find some support wherever he can, as it is rather obvious that he wont find it at the Emirates.

      1. 👍 Well said, chris. There are too many suedo psychologists around making 1 plus 1 equal 11.

  9. You don’t pay that much for a a player and keep loaning out. There must have been something we saw in him to shell out such huge amount of money and whatever it is indicated the boy is ready Do Dortmund loans out Bellingham Jude. The way we overrate the league ( as the most hardest or difficult, yet Dias came and won epl player of the season, Soucek holding his own) is ridiculous. The boy is good enough and therefore he is ready.It doesn’t matter where the boys choose to go what matter most and damning is our coach doesn’t show faith in the boy. Keep him with the group and and let him grow with the team. So more excuses for the club for the way we are treating the boy.

  10. sadly, I feel like we’ll never see this young man on display at the Emirates, except in an opposing jersey…in my estimation, bringing in another RCB is the end of Saliba, especially if the new acquisition is relatively young, like White is, and Holding is retained…tragic turn of events, considering the negative economic impact of both buying a new CB and the possible devaluing of Saliba, who’s market value will likely never rise substantially while on loan in an “inferior” League…would have loved, just once, to have seen a back 3 of Mavro, Saliba and Gabs, with Tierney on the wings, before Arteta, seemingly arbitrarily, discarded 2/3rds of our more youthful defending prospects

  11. I hold my hands up
    No idea at all if Saliba is ready for the first team at all
    I do not begin to know if he is worth the £27m that was coughed up 3 years ago. 18 years old then.
    He is off to Marseilles – to another French club. Sorry, but I’m not convinced at all by his readiness. Arteta gets flak from every direction and he will sink or swim as a result, but I’d be amazed if he deliberately cut off his nose to spite his face regarding WS. No manager in his right mind would deliberately diminish the prospects of the club who employ him. If Saliba was like Saka, ESR and now Balogun then he would be getting his chance

    1. If Willock was able to perform better, in an inferior team, in a relatively new environment, why couldn’t he produce the same at Arsenal? Was it down to the pitch or water or air at Newcastle? Or do the club have anything to do with it?

      1. Rightly said. Newcastle does not have the same competition for space as arsenal does, that’s why Willock gets his chances to play. It’s easy to shine in a smaller club. I’m not saying he’s not a good player though.

        1. During a half-season loan spell at Newcastle, Willock scored twice as much as the combined tally of all the central midfielders who made 20+ appearances during the course of the entire season. Willock wasn’t seen as a competition here at our club because he didn’t cost the club a fortune to sign him and he isn’t on a 7-figure wages per week. Newcastle had as many central midfielders as Arsenal last season. Willock didn’t just stop with shining in a smaller club like Chambers did at Fulham. He set the entire PL alight with his performances consistently during that loan spell.

        1. “No manager in his right mind would deliberately diminish the prospects of the club who employ him.”

          I thought Willock is still a prospect of our club. My bad.

        1. Steve Bruce is apparently a poor manager, but despite being dragged towards relegation by injuries to Newcastle United’s best players, he was (with the aid of Joe Willock’s goals and the gradual return of those players) able to manage the Club to a creditable twelfth.

          1. Exactly, Ozzie. The same Steve Bruce who isn’t highly thought of by many, including his own supporters, yet look at what he did with one of our players!!

    2. SueP, you’re really having a go…I must admit, I’m not surprised, as I could clearly sense your blood starting to boil a few days back when you were less than impressed with my perceived pretentiousness

      please remember that I’m certainly not suggesting that MA is devoid of any footballing insight whatsoever, I’m just worried that after his chosen flawed course of action last go round, he might be trying to make up for lost time by once again looking for shortcuts

      to me, the whole Ben White gig is a perfect example…instead of using last season as a developmental year, he completely flipped the script on his perceived mandate…this plan failed miserably, which seemed quite likely to anyone whose vision wasn’t clouded by an unexpected FA run…as such, he’s pursuing a “slightly” more seasoned defender in White, who’s potentially ahead of the Saliba curve, to try to offset our “wasted” year…I’m just not sure I trust this sort of wonky decision-maker at the wheel, do you?

      1. It’s really hard to answer TRVL because I just don’t know IF Saliba is good enough yet. I don’t follow the French league but is there a fuss from his agent over the loan move? Raul was responsible for paying over the odds for Pepe. Was he involved in Saliba’s transfer? Are we as fans still expecting too much from him? Development for some takes longer I’m guessing.
        I certainly can agree with your points but I’m just not as convinced about the signing as you so far. Let’s hope the cream rises to the top with WS as soon as possible- but I do agree that it is all very perplexing. A great talent under valued by Arteta or an expensive risk on an 18 year old who maybe hasn’t got the necessary temperament?

        1. “I just don’t know IF Saliba is good enough yet.”

          Most of the visitors are with you SueP because none of us are yet to see Saliba playing for us since we signed him a couple of years ago.

          After watching his works for the past 18 months, has it ever occurred to you, “Is Arteta good enough in developing young players other than the naturally gifted few like ESR, Saka, Martinelli and Tierney?”.

          1. My only answer to you on Arteta is that he was well regarded at ManC so I have to assume that he was talented in development of players there. Obviously not every player makes it. Nketiah appears to have plateaued for example and yet others like Balogan look promising. It has to be a distinct possibility that Saliba is not ready for the EPL either as a player or in maturity. Arteta got rid of as much of the so called deadwood as possible last year and this isn’t applying to WS this year. I am hazarding a guess that between Arteta and Edu they think he will come good.

          2. Vas C I am sorry to say I see a basic contradiction in your own words. I see no way how a young player who is NOT naturally gifted, can be honestly expected to make the grade with us, no matter how much or how little coaching he gets.

            Our club needs elite players only, not second rate players. IMO either ALL are naturally gifted, or they are not!

            WHAT ACTUALLY MATTERS IS THE SHEER DEGREE OF NATURAL GIFTS. I am always mindful of the true saying “you CANNOT make a silk purse from a sows ear”. It seems you do not agree?

        2. SueP, Saliba and Mavropanos were scouted by Sven Mislantat, who supposedly has a proven record for identifying good footballers.

        3. “Balogan look promising”

          Balogun and Saliba had the exact same number of minutes in EPL last season, ZERO.

          What made Balogun look promising and Saliba not ready as a player or in maturity, even after proving himself in the French top league for three consecutive seasons?

    3. SueP, Folarin at Leicester City under Brendan Rodgers was not rated as highly as Saliba, yet he has succeeded in a better performing team.
      Maybe Leicester City should put in a cheeky bid?

  12. @jon fox
    “I see no way how a young player who is NOT naturally gifted, can be honestly expected to make the grade with us, no matter how much or how little coaching he gets.”

    I completely agree with you, Jon. But, I’m wondering how much have we have invested in “properly” assessing the players, before stamping them “second rated”. Was it based on a handful of starts peppered throughout a 50-games season? Or through the manager’s eyes on their performances in the training ground and the dining room?

    “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Have we done anything to profitably market our so-called second rated players? How come we can’t quote something similar to Chelsea’s TA (who seems to be a dispensable squad member this summer based on reports) for any of our dispensable squad players?

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