Mikael Silvestre believes William Saliba needs another season out on loan from Arsenal despite his fine form at Olympique Marseille in this campaign.
The defender is yet to play for the Gunners since they signed him in 2019 and he has spent most of his career out on loan.
He keeps getting better and even earned a France cap recently because of his fine form at OM.
Some fans and pundits expect him to compete for a place in the Arsenal team in the 2022/2023 season, but Silvestre thinks otherwise.
He argues that Saliba will struggle to break into the team ahead of Gabriel Magalhaes or Ben White and he believes keeping him on the bench behind those two will stall his development.
It would be better to send him out on loan again to a club where he can get regular playing time.
The former defender said, as quoted by The Sun: “If you look at Gabriel and Ben White, I think that should be the partnership for next season. If Saliba comes in, he will be a back-up.
“He is still young and I would be tempted to give him another year on loan so he can become even more consistent.
“He has improved on this loan, but there have been some games where he wasn’t at his best level.
“To develop and to become a big part of Arsenal for the future, if you put him on the bench after playing a full season for Marseille, that would be a backwards step in his development.
“They have to make a big decision on his future.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Arsenal has a big decision to make on the future of Saliba in the summer and it would be very tough for them.
The defender deserves to stay at the club, but it would not make any sense if he remains and cannot get enough playing time.
Perhaps, the Gunners will change their system into a back–three to accommodate him and the current defensive options.