‘Has to come back’ – Arteta claims loanee included in next season’s plans

Manager Mikel Arteta has told reporters in France that William Saliba will be returning to play for Arsenal next season.

The 21 year-old has enjoyed a thoroughly impressive campaign with Marseille this term, playing a key role in helping them to qualify for the Champions League after steering them to a second-placed finish, picking up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, as well as earning a call-up to the France side to take on both the Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Despite his performance this year, there was still much speculation about where he would be playing his football next season, with some believing that Arteta may still not be able to guarantee him enough playing time should he remain in north London beyond the summer transfer window, but the boss himself has now claimed that he will be playing for Arsenal next term.

“He has to come back,” the boss told RMC Sport. “He has the experience and the environment necessary to be competitive with us.”

Arteta once again defended his decision to send the centre-back out on loan this season, claiming: “If he had stayed with us this year, with a match of Premier League a week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure. For his growth and what he can do next season that wouldn’t have been good.

“William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”

I’d love to believe this decision is final, and that there isn’t to be any further negotiations to this as it definitely feels like he is ready and raring to go to help us improve. It has been daunting to believe that we could keep overlooking him despite his impressive performances, and that we could potentially push him towards the exit door if we was to continue to do just that, but it sounds as though the time has finally come for him to make his mark in north London.

Do you think Gabriel or White is most at risk of losing his place in the side to Saliba?


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Tags Mikel Arteta William Saliba


  1. Why should any thinking fan believe that either White or Gabriel needs to lose his place? That is a silly claim by Patrick! The old days of any top club making do with only TWO CB’s across a whole season areblong gone.

    This is not opinion but fact and if anyone doubts it just look at how all TOP clubs have used more than two CB’s this last season and the several ones before that too

    Of course we need three top CB’s and four would be better still. But our fourth best is the slow and clumsy Holding and I hope and pray it is HE who leaves us. I think it will be him too. But SALIBA WILL PLAY OFTEN, AS WILL GABRIEL AND WHITE.
    Savvy PATRICK?!!

  2. All three will play but possibly not in their usual positions. Gabriel is fixed at left side CB (if he’s not sold) and the other two can both play at right side CB, defensive mid or right back.

  3. I don’t believe a word of Arteta. Ben White’s signing simply showed he never rated or even wanted Saliba. Now he’s trying to defend a very poor and bad decision. Had Saliba’s loan not gone well, gunners would have hailed Arteta for clearing out the deadwood Emery and Wenger’s players. Now the player has shown his undoubted quality, Arteta is trying to tell us that it was all planned out. Complete lies

    1. Is that not the whole point of a loan? Let the player get experience…if he bombs then sell him, if he is good, bring him back into the fold and he will benefit the team….it’s not lies, just the way it is. Don’t let a loan move get in the way of your hatred for Arteta

    2. Can you prove that ridiculous statement. You can’t call people liars without backing it up with facts, or you yourself are a liar..

  4. Let’s hope it’s true. Arsenal clearly hold the hammer on this one but Saliba’s comments earlier this week weren’t promising.

    I flip flop between thinking Arsenal’s decision on Saliba this season was a masterstroke to thinking it was a major mistake.

    On one hand, I have no doubt he is a better player now then he would have been had he stayed and been a part-timer here. I also think it was too much to ask to throw him in as a starter from day one had White mot been bought.

    On the other hand, I have little doubt that had he been here he would have helped us squeeze another three points out of the season and make CL.

    At any rate, if he comes back and becomes our VVD then it’s a moot point.

    To your question, I think Gabriel’s starting position is probably most at risk but think that all three will get at least 30 starts across all competitions if all goes to plan.

    1. Gabriel is a mistake waiting to happen. He has a bad temperament and leak goals, that makes him more vulnerable

      1. I will love to see Saliba taking Gabriel’s place next season because Gabriel costed us alot last season.

  5. Saliba and his agents will be pressing every button they can to get out. He isnt keen on coming back, so it will be interesting to see this develop after his cold shoulder.

    1. They can press all buttons they want but he’s contracted to us so they’ve no cards to play

      1. Yes they do, it’s called not signing a contract extension which forces a move or us to lose revenue.

        You can’t really believe we hold all the cards?

        1. I am just amazed that people heve still not clocked the new Arsenal attitude when it comes to player attitude..
          They have watched Arsenal’s willingness to lose out financially in order to get rid of the poor attitude and deadwood players in the last 2 years. (Fans favourites like Ozil, Auba, Guendouzi, Bellerin, Mavropanos etc, then you have the likes of Mustafi, Sokratis, Mari, etc…
          The club is now more focused on its own pride, integrity and only wants those players that want to be here. If you feel like you are too big or too good for Arsenal then you will be asked to find that club that floats your boat. No more begging or letting players take a p!ss just because they think they are some amazing superstars..
          If Saliba turns into that kind of player then he himself will be asked / allowed to leave our club and go a club that can meet his superstar status…

      2. He could do what 2 previous players did and refuse to play for us ( going on strike).

  6. He can say that but with two years left on his contract Saliba holds most of the cards and can force the issue, so even if we keep him but he refuses to sign an extension then we’re in a risky predicament. So nothing is cut a dry, only once it’s been confirmed Saliba that has signed a new contract at the club until then I remain very sceptical about this situation and believe most likely he leaves us permanently. Hope I’m wrong!

  7. I thought most fans agreed that we shouldn’t keep a player who doesn’t wanna be here. Example torreira
    Or a young lad with ego like guenzo.
    All of a sudden all that is gone and now saliba who somehow have both in him is begging to be back in the team.
    Maybe the board and manager are finally realizing their mistakes. which is good.
    I can only wish some fans will be more realistic and open minded but you can’t fault everyone for not thinking or behaving like you.
    We all know who would be getting praised now if the lad loan ended unsuccessful.

      1. I’ve seen comments on this platform calling him unprofessional and being harmful to the dressing room cos of his comments while on loan. These were some excuses given by fans to justify Arteta for sending him away

      2. Well it’s a question you asked and someone has already gave you half of the answer.
        But yeah, maybe you haven’t come across anyone or you decided not to pay attention to it , but there are many who have labelled him egoistic. and some already want him gone due to the frequent interview he has been granting because they believe it will be bad to have someone like him in the dressing room.
        A similar version of guenzo as they claimed

  8. I was like the lone Wolf shouting months ago that Saliba should be loan to a premier league club Newcastle or Norwich at the time to toughen him up.

    Just too much egos at the time throwing about and with Guendouzi never far from his ears really wasn’t going help the situation. I have watched and very puzzled Mustafi playing ahead of him.
    There is no doubt we had mess this one up big time.

    The gaffer must now swallow his pride sit the lad down, remind him he’s an Arsenal player, renegotiate a three year extension while he would be allowed a next year in France to continue his development, once that is done it will look like that was always the plan, and both side could berry the hatched and live happily after.

    The kid is in a massive strong position we should make it our position as well

  9. A part of the problem at Arsenal has been a lack of competition for places hence why in the past some of the performances have been so lethargic. No competition equals no motivation.
    In time Saliba, Gabriel and White will develop sound partnerships and the motivation to try harder will be there.
    I am looking forward to seeing him play for us with so much hype surrounding him..

  10. what else would this master of hindsight say in light of what transpired this season with his overpriced and rather underwhelming Saliba replacement, White, and considering how WS has performed so admirably while at Marseille…it’s like when a Judge tells the jury to disregard what they just heard and then instructs them to simply proceed as if what they clearly now know never happened

  11. We have missed honest competition in this club for a while, and the limp performances reflect that. Too many players know they will automatically slot into the lineup for the next game.

    Don’t see why guaranteeing playing time would be any problem. Ramsdale walks in, Leno has been ignored. Xhaka walks in when he is fit, never had any competition. Same with Odegaard and Saka.

    too many players are not challenged to be at their best. Pepe could challenge Martinelli, Saka, or Laca and Nketiah, but Arteta decided against that.

    ESR could have challenged Odegaard, but again it never came to be. Lokonga looks a bit green still, but he was ignored on the bench for quite a while since December, then thrown in when we had injuries.

  12. Well done Mikel, Saliba should thank you for allowing him to go on loan to Marseille. Without that loan you probably wouldn’t have played in a European competition or made your debut for France. You now come back with a lot more experience and should be ready to fight for a 1st team place.

    1. I don’t think thanking Arteta would be enough.
      He should bow to him and give him half is salary payments because he made him who he’s today. Isn’t it ??
      I have no doubt if it wasn’t for Arteta the egoistic guenzo wouldn’t have had his chance with France as well.
      So they should all bow to Arteta.

      1. Do you honestly believe that Saliba would’ve played the amount of games he played at Marseille if he would’ve stayed with us this season ? Being a bit part player he wouldn’t have got a call up for France.

        1. They would rather not face the reality, cos doing so would mean accepting that Arteta did the right thing.

          I have a feeling some here badly want Arsenal to fail just so they can mock Arteta and call him names.

          No matter what he does, they always find a way to blame him.

          These same people would have been cursing out Arteta if he had kept Saliba and he ended up not getting enough game time. They would have been on and on about what good a loan move would do. But, now they are all against Arteta for loaning him out.

          With many here, Arteta has no chance. No matter where the pendulum swings, he gets battered.

          I am glad those who run the club don’t listen to people like those we have here.

          1. I concur with you Alan. I can just imagine the abuse Saliba would get from some of the people on here and on social media sites if he had made mistakes for us that led to defeats.

        2. I have no problem of you giving Arteta credit howsoever, but asking Saliba to do shows you are entirely biased sorry to say.
          Have you asked Saliba to give the Marseille coach who believed in him the same credit or even be grateful to him.
          How about the France coach who decided to use him which he could have chose not to use him no matter how inform or good he maybe. We saw this with laca.
          Nah none of them should get credit, but it’s Arteta who haven’t given him an official debut in 2years should be the one to take the credit.
          And again many of you are not getting it, the question is not really about the loan, it’s about not giving him a chance to even make a single mistake.
          Henry said this and so as many people.
          The number of the games is not the issue here.
          Even Madrid with their rich squad still gave ode his debut.

          1. Saliba can thank the Marseille Coach and the French manager, but without Arteta allowing him the loan, he wouldn’t have got the experience he did last season.

            Imagine comparing Real Madrid, a team full of superstars, to The Arsenal of 2019-2021 🙄

            1. That’s exactly my point. A team of super star and unproven player like ode still had his debut.
              Saliba couldn’t have a debut with center back full of holding, Mari, Luiz, and mustafi.
              I am not saying game times, I am talking of a debut.
              The chance to even make a single error or correct a mistake.
              I don’t even have issue with whoever he choose to thank, but I just find your comment quite biased. Arteta has not even managed him yet and he should be thanking him already.
              He wasn’t the one that bought him in the first place.

              1. Totally different situations regarding Ødegaard and Saliba. In Spain the Reserves, for whom Ødegaard was playing for, play in the 2nd Division. Iirc he made his debut for the 1st team on the last day of the season when there was nothing at stake. As you know, in England the set up is totally different. For Saliba to be given his debut on the last day of the season, he would’ve had to stay here, meaning he wouldn’t have got the experience of 1st team football. For a young lad, he’s been through a tough time, what with the death of his mother and covid.

                While Arteta hasn’t managed him yet, he obviously saw enough of him playing in the U23s to decide that he wasn’t ready for the 1st team. Now with the experience of playing for a team that challenged for the League and competed in Europe, Arteta feels now is the time for him to come back.

        3. If that’s your logic then why not loan him out again?

          Does his potential loyalty to Arsenal play a roll in your thinking?

          1. It would probably have a lot to do with the reports back from the fella that’s in charge of our players that out on loan. I forget his name, but he watches their games, be it in person or on a recording.

  13. Proffessionalism application is the only missing ingrident @ this junction. Afterall Reiss Nelson is also with feyenoord fc doing wonderfully,why didn’t he request for such? IMO,saliba is a lazy player. if not,you wouldn’t have rejected a parent club 4 a less competetive league like that.pls,don’t crucify arteta b’cos of him again,he only want to make the best out of him. indole…..

  14. Despite my skepticism over whether Saliba will be an Arsenal player next season, one factor to consider is if we decided to sell him I don’t think Marseille would be able to afford him provided we ask for a massive transfer fee(£50M+) and they may or maybe have a transfer ban…

    1. Although a transfer ban is still possible, with a date for the hearing now set for October, Marseille will be free to sign players as usual, at least until then…


  15. MA”he has to come back..”I’m not so sure.IF and I’m saying IF he decided that he wanted to stay at Marseille and/or not to go back to London,he wouldn’t be the 1st player to go AWOL,would he?these days players power is such that they usually get what they want.i also doubt that MA would want a player who would rather be somewhere else.

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