Ian Wright is impressed with how Arsenal has developed youngster

William Saliba has become Arsenal’s latest superstar in the making, but it has taken him four seasons after signing for the club to eventually play for them.

The Gunners signed him in 2019, but they allowed him to remain at Saint Etienne for the 2019/2020 season.

He was at the Emirates in the first half of the 2020/2021 season, but he didn’t play a game for them before joining Nice in the second half.

He did well in France, yet Mikel Arteta didn’t find him good enough and he spent the 2021/2022 term on loan at Olympique Marseille.

At OM, he was in stunning form and even earned a France cap along the way.

His performances was undeniably great, and the Gunners have now made him one of their key men.

Ian Wright believes his developmental path was good for him and praises Arsenal for managing it well.

He said on the Kelly and Wrighty show: “What’s happened is, they’ve loaned him out, he’s gone away and become a French international, playing with unbelievable players.

“He’s come back and he’s had three games, and yes we’d expect he’s got great pace and he’s got awareness and great composure.

“But he’s come back as almost the finished article at 21. It’s very early doors but everything you’re seeing from him, the signs up to this point have been really perfect, so you’re just hoping it can continue.” 

Just Arsenal Opinion

Many fans wanted Mikel Arteta to rush Saliba’s development, but the Spaniard was certain he was not good enough for the club yet.

These spells away have helped him to become a top player. Now, we would enjoy the benefits of being patient with him while he developed.

Tags Ian Wright William Saliba


  1. Another Koulibaley or Vidic for Arsenal.
    He is a fulcrum for Arsenal and he is a reason why arsenal hasn’t lost a game

  2. Are we ever going to get over this saliba loan comments??
    we had bunch and of players who went on loan and you rarely see any comments about it. Even when some of them had a successful loan.
    It’s not hard to put together. Many never saw him in an official game before and only few watch him while he was in France.

    1. Give Arteta some credit he deserves. Had Saliba remained with Arsenal last season, he would not have been better. There was noway he would have broken the partnership of White and Gabriel. We would have been robbed of the brilliance we are enjoying now, his confidence would have been below the surface. Staying here would have killed him. Wills fans, myself included, cried foul on supposedly unfair treatment on the player, the Coach knew better and was patient with him. So, Arteta played a great deal of development into the player we see now. He deserves all the credit.

  3. zzzzzzz

    Haven’t we done this to death? Same comments emerging already.

    Is the idea to find topics people will argue about so as to up the post count?

    It got boring a long time ago tbh – we are where we are, let’s move on.

  4. Again the article isnt factual and we have done this to death. The truth is Saliba and Arteta were miles apart but now they are closer together. There has been a healing process and Saliba to prove it worked needs to sign a contract. It isn’t anti Arteta to say he got it wrong last season, he did but if it comes right in the end, then all good in whatever happened. We needed Saliba last season and we paid for not trusting him but he came back a better player so lets hope he signs a new contract and we move on.

  5. The article states some basic facts. Remarkably, some people continue to dispute what is quite straightforward. What is equally remarkable is people coming up with their own opinions and made up stories and insisting that this is what has happened.

  6. A lot of credit as regards Saliba’s development must go to Arteta. He was patient with him and sent him away twice on loan to play and develop further. Saliba played very well in France, developed himself and came back to Arsenal, a better player. Now, I just hope both he and Saka sign a new contract and we can keep hold of these tremendous talents at Arsenal for the very long term.

  7. Once more, for those in the cheap seats”Jorge Sampaoli nurtured Saliba’s raw talent and developed him into the player he is now”…End of…

    1. @NYG
      For those “in the cheap seats” who have very short memories maybe! (like you?)
      In fact St Etienne nurtured him so well in his two years there which is why Arsenal paid fortunes for him.
      And of course it was his excellent year at Nice that persuaded Marseille they wanted him the following season, but of course you’re right, It’s all down to Sampaoli….

      1. Well said @Pat.

        Let’s not forget to credit his Mum & Dad, the PE teacher at school and his Auntie Flo for buying him his first football. 😉

      2. @Admin Pat
        Had St Etienne nurtured him, as you say, then there would have been no reason for him to go to OM…IJS(from the grandstand)

        1. @NYG
          We can play semantics all day, but as Arteta held the power in his hands, it was Arsenal that “nurtered” Saliba by making sure that he went on loan to St Etienne, Nice and Marseille.
          Why you keep giving all the credit to Sampioli is beyond comprehension when you consider he only spent one season there, but also a good way for you to start an argument!

          1. @Admin Pat
            I give more credit to Sampaoli than I do Arteta, which to me is hard to comprehend, since he had zero dealings with Saliba.
            After Williams loan spells at Nice and St Ettienne, he was still deemed not good enough by Arteta. Under the tutelage of Sampaoli at OM is where he began to shine and people took notice. Not only Arteta but Deschamps as well.
            *And for the record. This is not an argument, it’s a discussion. Know the difference next time…IJS

      3. Well technically you are both right. It’s just that how is Arsenal getting credit is what is not understood.
        More so, he chose to go to France when the club wanted him to join a premier league club instead. Meaning he chose were he wanted to be and not the place the club recommended.
        We criticize chelsea for loaning most of their talents out and here we are praising our own team for doing the same thing. Strange.

        1. kaay Then you find it “strange” that our fans should be biased towards our own club?

          I do not, as I see that as perfectly normal and natural fan behaviour, as at all clubs too.

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