Is Saliba turning out to be Arsenal’s worst ever signing?

While I have often questioned the ambition of Arsenal on the football pitch, as a business they been fantastically run.

As a self-financed model, if FIFA ever wanted to be serious about Financial Fair play we would be in a strong position. This is a club who for years were able to make a profit on their best talent, only spend a fraction of the money on a replacement, and yet still find a route into the top 4.

Yet having recently lost our reputation of playing beautiful football, we may now have lost our status of being financially run very well.

Whichever way you look at it, 27 million is a lot of money to spend on a player who hasn’t made a first team appearance for you in three years.

That will be how long it will be from when we signed Saliba and when he will next be eligible to play for us in the Premiership.

27 million which could have been used to strengthen other areas in the squad, like a creative midfielder.

27 million where the only teams to benefit have been Saint Etienne, Nice and now Marseille.

That’s the bizarre part of his latest loan, in France he continues to have a huge reputation.

While Edu has been reminding us the defender is only 20, this isn’t a centre back who needs to prove he can handle this level.

He’s played 63 times in Ligue one, surely enough to get an opportunity in a group of players who have recorded two 8th place finishes.

I would understand if we were targeting the title but it’s our worst squad in decades. If you’re not getting a chance now, when will you?

Some fans will twist stats to suit their argument such as how many goals we conceded or our form after Xmas.

Yet the table doesn’t lie.

After not qualifying for Europe for the first time in 25 years, it makes zero sense to say our defence is good enough.

We should be humiliated by how low we have fallen. Not one player should feel their position is safe.

Our Technical Director insists this loan is part of the Frenchmen’s development and his statement implies the player is in agreement with the decision.

Yet our manager said the same last summer and as soon as Saliba was back home he was bemoaning a lack of chances to his local media.

Why would he now be receptive towards another loan, having proved in Nice his performances have not dipped despite personal problems?

12 months ago I agreed with Mikel Arteta’s stance on a teenager who had lost both his parents.

The Spaniard was the one who saw the talent every day and if he felt a 19-year-old needed to grieve closer to family and friends that’s understandable.

To still not want him in his first team suggests the coach simply doesn’t rate a signing that was made when he was at Man City.

Many feel Arleta’s job will be at risk if he starts the campaign poorly.

To still dismiss a 27 million signing could prove a costly mistake. It could also represent that he still has the faith of his employers to back his judgement.

If he failed again to finish above 8th, Mr. Kroenke would have every right to ask why 27 million is being spent on an asset perceived not good enough to make a poor squad?

The owner might blame the recruitment team, or he might start questioning a man whose strengths are meant to be his coaching.

At Man City, Arteta was credited for 1-1 getting the very best out of individuals through his training ideas.

At Arsenal, he’s been quick to wash his hands of anyone he’s deemed not suitable for his ethos.

Part of his job criteria is to get the best out of the resources he has.

There’s only so many time Mr. Kroenke will pay people to sit at home, cancel contracts, loan out, etc..

27 million for a player not to make a single appearance might end up as a sackable offence?

The day Saliba finally plays in the Prem will Arteta be his manager?

Maybe Arsenal are protecting the player by not disclosing why they feel he’s better off in France at the moment?

Maybe other factors are preventing his progress?

Maybe Arteta simply doesn’t see why previous scouts saw years ago?

Either way, 27 million for a player not to play a second for us in the span of 3 years?

That would be our worst ever signing.

 

Dan Smith

Tags William Saliba

158 Comments

  1. Highbury Hero says:

    Well run financially, successful, beautiful football, loved and respected all around the globe.

    Those are the things the Great Arsene brought to the club. His successors should have continued where he left off and at the same time try to improve on his shortcomings.

    But what do you expect when the current coach blame him for his spectacular failure of a season, the worst in living memory?

    We are told the great Arsene is the cause of our current state but what have the current regime done to give weight to that ridiculous and totally false accusation?

    We are way way worse since Wenger left and that can only mean he took with him what he brought to the club. Sadly.

    Arsenal have trade in someone good for the bad and then the worse one.

    As long as Kroenke does not put capable people to run all aspects of the club he will continue to sabotage his own club at the expense of his and the fans.

    1. guy says:

      I don’t think many are blaming Arsene for the state we are in since the truth has starting emerging about how his hands were tied. All he is guilty of is carrying the can for others.
      And the problems have continued or indeed come to a head since then.

      1. Kgoana Joel Mamogale says:

        The boy had not been given a chance, this I will never understand. My view is that the boy got a raw deal, he deserve to be treated with respect and I don’t think Arsenal had given him that. He is a good play and I believe he’s really for first team, unless the technical staff know something we don’t.

    2. guy says:

      In a similar vein have you seen Kroenke has set up an Arsenal Advisory Board made up of various Supporter associations? To meet the Board twice a season. A step forward or window dressing?

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        I have seen the news. It is a step in the direction. Hoping to see they actually go through with what the advisors will suggest.

      2. Some guy says:

        The notion that Arsenal are well-run financially is a farce that has not been true since the last years of the Wenger era. A well run club does. Not leave 70 million pounds on the table for Sanchez nor does It give Ozil obscene wages when there is no market for his services.

        Turning to the current era, Arteta is in way over his head. He’s a Pep wanna be with 1 percent of Pep’s talent. Arteta arbitrarily decides who he likes and who he hates and he hates Saliba.

        Not a bad signing just a victim of regime change. Arsenal will live to regret a number of players ostracized by an inexperienced manager trying to show people who is boss. Saliba is one of many players screwed by Arteta, an incompetent idiot pretending to mimic his mentor. The next regime will have to clean up the mess he leaves behind.

        1. Some guy says:

          This was meant to be a new post, not sure why it showed up as a reply to an unrelated post

    3. Gunners4life says:

      My opinion is probably not popular but I believe I am not the only one who wants Wenger back. After 3 seasons of break, he would be fresher than ever. If we really have the transfer warchest as rumoured, it is mindboggling to me if it was given to Arteta, who is inexperienced and has not shown us any kind of results for the past 1.5 years. Though perhaps we should sell out 5-10 players before bringing Wenger in since he is weak in the letting-player-go department..

      My suggestion is this:
      OUT: Arteta, Cedric, Mari, Holding, Elneny, Kolasinac, AMN, Nketiah, Pepe/Nelson, Willian, Lacazette.

      IN: Wenger, Ben White, Locatelli/Bissouma, Griezmann, 1 GK (Mandanda?, Szczesny?), 1 RB (Pavard?), 1 expensive FW, 1 more CB or bring back Saliba..

      1. VasC says:

        After all the “love & respect” Wenger got during his last few seasons with us, let him enjoy the rest of his life in peace, please! And it’ll be going against his principle to bring him in at the expense of an up and coming young manager Arteta.

        1. Gunners4life says:

          Post Arteta, Wenger would look like GOAT manager, so he would not worry so much about the pressure from fans. Anyway, Arteta can still be his no 2 and learn more from manager other than pep.

          Arteta has tried to manage Arsenal, so he can learn how Wenger do it. I believe this would be better than now. Arteta is just too inexperienced and his result is shit last season. So either we get him a mentor or kick him out of the club.

    4. Sir Michael says:

      Dan If Arteta did not buy him he don’t want him look at the players he wants out none bought by him he wants his team

    5. Logic says:

      Very well said HH 👍

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Thank you Sid.

  2. jon fox says:

    Whilst agreeing with most, though not 100%, of Dans pertinent article, I am bound to remind Gooners that our worst ever signing by a very great distance -in terms of reward for total monies paid out in transfer and wages , is OZIL.
    THE MONEY WASTED ON THIS LEECH OVER HIS MANY YEARS FOR NO REWARD AT ALL AFTER HIS FIRST TWO SEASONS, dwarfs the far too high fee paid by the previous manager-lets not forget- for a still young player who will EITHER still play a significant role in our future OR at least fetch a transfer fee to reduce his total loss overall.

    Of course there is no denying the whole SALIBA shambles has been a rank bad matter, BUT when compared to the OZIL CATASTROPHE, IT PALES INTO RELATIVE INSIGNIFICANCE!

    1. jon fox says:

      Unlike HH, who posted above mine, I was addressing the articles headlines question entirely. How many brownie points do I get for being such a good boy then Admin PAT!

      For clarity, I do not blame HH or any Gooner for writing whatever they wish, if Arsenal connected and Ad PAT KNOWS THIS ONLY TOO WELL!

      1. guy says:

        Lol Jon you’re being foxy today. Most of us are guilty of that one – more and more of my comments start with “OT” now!
        Its because we don’t post articles, want to say something to our fellow fan(atic)s but there’s no current article on that subject. I suspect most of the regular readers here (like me) are quite opinionated and like to get our thoughts out there…

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Agreed with what you have said Guy but I still fail to see what I posted is out of the topic. Maybe someone would correct me.

          1. Dan kit says:

            You have t said anything out of topic HH quite the opposite ,it’s just some fans can not stand some others having a mind of their own ,you know how it works on here by now buddy .

          2. Dan kit says:

            I would say Arsenals worst signing would be Arteta ,bought the club to 8th place no European football ,playing football like prime Stoke city and no top player will come here because of it ,now that to me sounds like an awful signing

          3. Highbury Hero says:

            Thank you Dan. I applaud them for attempting such an impossible task whose reward is only frustration.

        2. jon fox says:

          My thoughts too exactly, guy! I have many times told Ad PAT THAT IF the many articles were more real and less false rumoured then the quality of debate would be better and more cerebral. So many comments are pointless, not off topic but meaningless and SAY absolutely nothing of any worth or interest.

          1. Admin Pat says:

            THAT is why I have an Opinion section and a Rumours section, as I have told you a hundred times, young man…..

          2. Highbury Hero says:

            The ancient one has problem with the site, problem with the articles, problem with the writers, problem with the admns, problem with other fans especially the younger ones.

            We have a saying in China, “if you smell something bad everywhere you go look at your shoes.”

          3. Highbury Hero says:

            My reply to Pat.

          4. jon fox says:

            Ah Pat! Once again our perennial life philosophical argument! Unlike you, I see no reason why ANY Gooner at all should be expected to ignore the so called rumours section. A site lives or dies – just like a football team- by its weakest link(section) When one player/ section is so obviously not fit for purpose it weakens the whole thing. I believe in inclusivity and as a regular user of this site, from even before your son PATRICK started writing his regular false rumours, I wil never accept being expected to accept being shunted away from part of this site, simply because it is weak. As with our football team, I call for improvements, not letting it rot by ignoring it.

            Improve these false rumours and you will get more readers, not fewer. But I know you will never learn, SADLY!

    2. VasC says:

      At least with Ozil in the squad we were playing in Europe.

      I’ll reserve my verdict on our worst signing until Willian’s contract is finished.

      1. Gunners4life says:

        Stats wise, ozil is not bad. And we should look at it the other way, by ozil not playing, Arsenal is actually saving money from potentially getting black listed in china..

    3. Dan says:

      Not sure Jon- Ozil contributed to is getting to 6 Finals and 2nd in Prem compared to someone yet to kick a ball for us

      1. jon fox says:

        DAN, THEN YOU ARE NOT SURE,so fair enough . But it seems you are not sure I am wrong either, I am glad to see!

        But in money terms it is factual rather than opinion that OZIL has cost us vastly more money for many years than Saliba ever can.

        We have paid no real wages to Saliba by comparison and just his his fee of £27mill, which will be lessened by either himstaying and playing or selling him. Ozil was a long term fraud, only here for the huge wage and not prepared to give any effort at all after his first two seasons.

        1. Dan says:

          Yeah as a grown adult I don’t base things on right or wrong
          It’s simply an opinion

    4. Tolu says:

      Absolutely agree. WORST EVER SIGNING. Lacked any sort of mental fortitude or leadership needed from a so called ‘world class player’
      Attitude stunk on the pitch. An absolute robber and bottler and shackler. He is not fit to shine Sanchez’s boots.
      I threw a party when he left.

  3. Sean Williams says:

    Arsene Wenger would have treated the young man with respect. Arteta has an agenda with Saliba. To me, some may agree, some may not, Arteta scapegoats some players and that is why he will not work well at Arsenal. Players will not accept it. Being a father and a grandfather, seeing how Arteta has treated Saliba offends me deeply. Totally unfair, inhuman treatment. To me.

    1. zdzis says:

      He inherits a squad with some players that aren’t match-ready. He looks at how they progress and makes sure they get game time where they can. He can’t just drop them in the side with 0 experience, while he’s trying to mould the current players into a team. He repeatedly talks things over with them to make sure they’re on the same page. And when he sends them out, he makes sure to let them play in a “safe space,” like, close to their family or whatnot.
      Interesting way to be inhuman.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        zdzis
        Wow Arteta the most loving kind man ever! Wesley Fofana, Saliba understudy was given a game at Leicester, now a regular. Maybe giving Saliba a game may have been a better way. Having seen him for Nice he was definitely worth a game. Your Arteta ‘love’ is pure imagination.

        1. Mark Lankester says:

          Sean Williams there are some real personal issues that have not been fully disclosed. I believe he lost both his parents last year. He had the incident that led to a suspended suspension in France.
          The fact Arsenal have not included an obligation to buy for Marseilles says something.
          I do believe he should have been given a chance in pre-season however the view from the Club is clear that they want him to get a full season somewhere. If they keep him until the end of the transfer window he misses the pre-season training for the club he moves to, which may be using different methods to that which Arsenal employ. So I can understand the decision.
          Let us hope he has a great season and sorts his mind out after what must have been a traumatic period in his family life and comes back ready and better for 2022/23.

          1. zdzis says:

            Mark, well said.

          2. ken1945 says:

            Mark, if he had all these personal issues that you list, can you explain why he had such a good season away from The Arsenal?
            Wasn’t he voted one of the best French players?

            I have no idea what is going on, but if he could play football despite all your points, why was he not doing it at our club?

            As for the childish comparison with Ozil, let’s all hope Saliba can play in three fa cup final wins, CL football and top four finishes.

        2. zdzis says:

          And what about your “Arteta ‘hate’,” eh?

        3. jon fox says:

          As so is your Arteta “hate” SEAN and by the same token too!

    2. guy says:

      I can’t argue with certain aspects of your comments Sean – I think on a person to person level it’s been handled attrociously, and that’s down IMO 100% to Arteta.
      In mitigation of not playing him (a different consideration) lets look at a couple of things. Very few big clubs lt 19 year olds take a CB slot – its perhaps the position requiring the most maturity, and requires a run of games to settle in – meaning one or two games is not enough, so MA would need to commit to quite a few to make it worthwhile. Failure could really screw up his career, perhaps permanently, and the EPL is tough. If we register him but he’s lost confidence he is then benched all season The French League is gentler and more forgiving, – it’s home for him and Marseille play in Europe so he gets weekly games and some good experience. He is a young player, of a similar age to many others that aren’t quite ready. It happens any many clubs – look at Odegaard at RM for example. Clubs DO buy for potential – for tomorrow not today. Sometimes players are not put into the first team to protect them until they mature mentally or emotionally to be in the big club spotlight, even though technically they are better than those holding down the position. And as I said, he’s just turned 20 – nowhere near full maturity for a CB.

      1. SueP says:

        I’m with you Guy
        Never quite got why Arteta got his pastoral care wrong with Saliba though.

        1. VasC says:

          Arteta got it right by granting Saliba the choice to pick where he wishes to be next season. So, the responsibility now lies with Saliba to prove Arteta and the club that he deserves a future at Arsenal at the end of his loan spell. Saliba will still have two years remaining in his current contract with us and his value is protected.

          Now, it’s up to Arteta to prove that letting Saliba go out on loan is the best course of action for everyone involved.

          Just hoping that things work out best for everyone involved in the Saliba saga.

          1. Kadibia says:

            I really don’t think his value will be protected if he has two years left except he signs a new deal. Remember we need him to play a before we offer him a new deal. What if he refuses to do so? He has only one year left. Then its Dejavu

        2. BobS says:

          I don’t agree with you guy.
          Varane, Sergio Ramos, was 19 years when they started playing for Real Madrid, Marquinhos for PSG at 19, Terry at Chelsea at 19, Tony Adams at 18 years, Giorgio Chiellini at 19 in Juve, so many players like that.
          This players has been playing before 19 but I picked 19 as the year they fixtures most for there club.
          And they are all great defends.

          So I don’t buy the excuse of not playing a 19years old as a centre back

          Kolo Toure was 21 years when he was signed and he played 40games the same season he signed, 26 games coming in the EPL.
          Tell me what experience he’s got in Europe when he was given so much appearance?

          EPL are so hyped up and people believe you can’t adapt easily.

          Tell me which league is easy to adapt to?
          I remember Ronaldo struggling in his first season at Juventus.
          Michu destroyed all the big teams in his first season.
          David Silva adapting in the so called strong league.

          I even hear people saying Messi won’t adapt in the league as if Messi is coming to play in Debby county with no team mate working for him.

          The league has so many fighters but remember Spanish league has been dealing with us for so long now.

          If a player is good, he’s good. Changing of environment can happen to any players even within the same league. Torres to Chelsea, Darren Bent to Spurs, so what makes you think all Brighton players won’t flop in Arsenal?

          I know if Bissouma is still in Lille, most fan here will still complain about is adaptation to the new league.

          1. ken1945 says:

            BobS, what a splendid reply to guy, tastefully delivered with unrefutable facts.
            If Saka can adjust to the PL in a position that demands, in my opinion, much more “experience” than being part of a defensive unit, then what is our club doing with Saliba?

          2. guy says:

            I think it comes down to two differences of opinion chaps. Whether you think that at 19 all young men have reached the same level of mental and emotional maturity and are therefore equally prepared to be thrown into the goldfish bowl that is football at the peak level (which I do not), and whether you trust Arteta and his Arsenal advisers enough to allow them, based upon close knowledge of and contact with the individual, to make that decision, as opposed to allowing either the player himself to decide, or vox pop fan opinion based almost solely upon his purchase price. I prefer to believe Arteta et al are best placed to decide whether he is mature enough. They may be wrong, but I am inclined to think there is less chance that is the case than if we make the decision based upon the magazine articles we have read.

          3. Break-on-through says:

            👍 Bobs and Ken

          4. Kondwani Tyson says:

            @ Bob, this is one of my favourite comment in this site

      2. VasC says:

        Right or wrong, Arteta made his decision in the right time that suits the player’s development. Saliba can have a proper full season, along with a proper pre-season training, in the French top-tier. Now, Arteta needs to find adequate cover for Saliba before it’s too late.

        1. Bobs says:

          Vasc
          You’re deceiving yourself if you think Two years is a good year to protect his value.
          What makes you think Saliba hasn’t make up his mind not to play for Arteta again?
          Or what makes you think Arteta hasnt make up his mind that Saliba won’t play for him?
          I want Arteta to go beyond this season and even sign another contract cos wanting him leave next season means he doesn’t perform to expectation and I don’t want any of that now.
          I prefer Arsenal to be successful and Arteta to be here for the foreseeable future than Arsenal fail to qualify for Europe next season just because I want Arteta gone.
          But I won’t stop saying it that Nothing is wrong with some players but Arteta has an Ego issue.
          Arteta is a man that doesn’t forgive easily.
          What more do you want Saliba to prove after 2 good seasons on loan?

          Gabriel was in the same league as Saliba 2 seasons ago but wasn’t rate more than Saliba and yet he tried his best even though is not good enough.

          Saliba’s partner was a bomb in the EPL last season and Saliba was rated more than him.

          Why not use Saliba till December and if not good enough loan or sell in January?

          Arteta has an issue with him, that’s just the fact.

          1. VasC says:

            I completely agree with you, Bobs. Because, everything you’ve said is very reasonable.

            I’ve been skeptical about Arteta’s dealings, yet I’ve advocated for retaining his services for at least the duration of his current contract in all my comments. He can become one of the greatest tactician in the games in a few years, based on what I’ve heard and watched since he became our manager.

            The reason I’m confident of keeping Saliba’s value protected is entirely based on speculation. Even after the end of his current loan spell at OM, he’ll be still having a couple of years left in his contract. Based on his performances in the past three seasons in Ligue 1, his stock will only improve after playing a full season in the French league along with Europa league games.

            Saliba may have made up his mind not to play for Arteta or vice-versa, Saliba will be under contract for two more years at Arsenal. If the club play the cards right, there is no possibility of incurring a financial loss, when we sell Saliba for the right price next summer. Though, I admit, it’ll be a huge sporting loss to see an improved player go elsewhere.

            I was asking the same questions you were asking right now, until the loan deal was officially finalized. Because, it made sense back then. I choose to prepare myself for the future. No crying over spilled milk.

            Arteta made the decisions and he needs to live with it. He will be held responsible for the team’s performance this season. It doesn’t matter if he has issues with certain players or not, as long as he can back himself up with the results the board and the fans demand from him.

            Even now, I question the sanity of signing Aoaur from Lyon. The people who justify that Saliba is not ready for PL due to his limited experience in Ligue 1 can’t justify how Aoaur can be our solution for the CAM position based on his Ligue 1 experience alone.

            Until and unless official, every one of our comments are based on hope and speculations.

  4. zdzis says:

    Ooooh, serious problems with this entire piece.
    1) “…as a business they [Arsenal have] been fantastically run.”
    First of all, how do you assess business success with a football club? Is it enough that the books are balanced? Then that went out of the window around 2016, if not before. Is football success not an important component? If it is, Arsenal have very little to show for their money. Making the top 4 isn’t success – it’s a big club struggling to get by in trying times. (Not to mention that we repeatedly earned CL qualification by sheer luck.)
    2) “…having recently lost our reputation of playing beautiful football…”
    Define “recently” XD Unless you mean the “reputation” among die-hard fans, Arsenal haven’t been known to play beautiful football at least between 2009 and 2014, and have only occasionally showed some flashes since. It’s to be hoped that Arteta can maintain the form of the last months of the previous season, but great reputation we have not.
    3) “…it makes zero sense to say our defence is good enough.”
    Well, if we’re basing all our views only on the final table, maybe best disband the club and switch to another sport.
    It’s ridiculous to look at our defence a) only through the lens of goals conceded over the entire season and b) only taking into account central defenders. That’s one thing – another is that, however good Saliba may be, it’s a very painful stretch to claim any random person dropped into this situation will immediately improve it. He’s never yet played for the club, so on what basis are we to expect he’ll turn things around? (To the degree that they need turning, mind.)
    4) Finally, Saliba himself.
    Yeah, he’s played games in L1. Yeah, he’s highly rated. But (AFAIK) he didn’t quite pull up tress at Nice. He hasn’t played a full season of football for awhile. He *needs* playing time on the regular, and he needs it somewhere that’s competitive but won’t get him out of action again. He still has years on his contract, so it makes perfect sense for the club to make sure he gets that full season of football somewhere homely and quality.
    Also, “a player who hasn’t made a first team appearance for you in three years” only joined us in summer of 2019, so I count 2 so far. Should be “won’t have made,” mate.

    1. Yossarian says:

      Well said zdzis.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      For a very long time, beautiful football was synonymous with Arsenal as far as English teams are concerned.

    3. Gunners4life says:

      We were still playing an attacking football until Wenger left the club. Sure our defenses were trash during 2009-2014, with kos just bought and adjusting while our star players keep leaving, young players like Wilshere and Ramsey just getting their chances, but nowhere during these times did I remember we stopped playing one touch football. I remembered how mad I was at Wenger when we insists on playing that way even tho sometimes the play just cant seem to connect. “There’s no plan b”, as some of us like to say it. Oh how I missed those times… We might not have won the league, but we kept our identity and tried to play the right way. If only we had better players during those times. And my fav is of course that Wilshere goal against Norwich. No other prem team could even dream of scoring that kind of goal, yet we had a similar one not long after when Rosicky scored against Sunderland.

      Sadly we stopped playing “beautiful game” under Emery, and especially Arteta who made us play defensively with 5 backs!! Best defense my a**.. I wanna see goals :/

      1. zdzis says:

        “We were still playing an attacking football until Wenger left the club.”
        In short, no. Between 2009 and 2013, we were simply atrocious. “Top 4” was a running joke, for Christopher’s sake. In 2012, we replaced our only serious attacking star with Poldi and Giroud – neither of whom was half the player RVP was for us, in spite of their contribution. We let go of Fabregas and Nasri, our most creative players, in 2011; replaced them initially with, well, basically no one, and then with Cazorla – a pure magician, but pretty much the only player of that caliber in our midfield at the time. When Ozil came along, we had our moments; same with Sanchez; but we never really got back to the kind of week-to-week, reliable quality we had before 2006.
        That’s not being anti-Wenger – it’s just taking off the rose-tinted glasses.
        BTW – we didn’t “stop playing “beautiful game” under Emery, and especially Arteta.” Under both, Arsenal played some fantastic games, occasionally showed great football – cohesion, inventiveness, flair. But Emery’s team lost their heads before the end of his season, and Arteta is still getting this team on track.
        I’d love to see the side Wenger was trying to build unleashed 100%. Wilshere and Ramsey together at full potential, Diaby dominating defences, Walcott showing he can do more than run; Koscielny being the rock and Mertesacker the anvil; I love the romance of what might have been.
        The problem is, it never really was.

      2. guy says:

        I’m getting older and it was a while ago, but from what I recall my own dissatisfaction with Wenger’s last days was never that we didn’t try to play football. It was that the same out of form players were being picked week in, week out without the risk of losing their place regardless of how poorly they played. We were also getting outplayed quite badly too often. Our teams were technically still very proficient but tactically clueless.
        Maybe not what others saw but that was what was frustrating me. It made me suspect at the time that either Wenger was no longer interested or an insidious player clique had taken over. It was actually far deeper than that in retrospect, but the many stories about the backroom administrative incompetence, corruption and general malaise have only come out since Wenger left.

        1. Shine says:

          Under Wenger the 1st few seasons was great then their club n board goals changed n no longer ambitious but to stay within the top 4 n CPL reach.
          Arsenal started selling their prized players. When a top team does that n not getting a top player to replaced it. It simply tells u that they r no longer ambitious n just trying to earn more money by selling players.
          I remember there’s one article saying RVP saying he moved to Mu because Arsenal is no longer ambitious.

      3. guy says:

        Recall the same G4L – if only we had the chance to go back… We often played like naiive schoolboys and the smarter teams knew exactly how to beat us, but we were skillful, adventurous and…fun!
        I’d accept it now like a shot.

      4. ken1945 says:

        Gunner4life, do me a favour and check out the stats for 2011 with regards to our “trash defences” and then look even deeper.
        Thanks

        1. Gunners4life says:

          Hi Ken, this is our table goalscoring chart from 09/10-14/15 as compared to now. My bad, our defense is actually not that bad. Looking at the numbers, I just realised how bad our attack is under arteta…
          09/10 83-41
          10/11 72-43
          11/12 74-49
          12/13 72-37
          13/14 68-41
          14/15 71-36
          17/18 74-51 (Wenger)
          18/19 73-51 (Emery)
          19/20 56-48 (Emery-Arteta)
          20/21 55-39 (Arteta)

          1. Ozziegunner says:

            👍G4L, very graphic, the loss of productivity in attack compared to Emery and Wenger.

  5. NotPanicking FC says:

    He’s still only 20 and arguably has 15 years left at the top.

    If anything, he’s showcasing how good he is and pushing his transfer fee up, so how on earth can he be our worst signing?

    I realise a lot of Arsenal fans are insecure, needy, desperate, but most signings up 20 don’t end up getting first team action right away.

    Also, how many Arsenal fans actually know the ins and outs of Arsenal’s finances?

    Take a deep breath, relax, enjoy your summer, don’t jerk the knee.

    1. Yossarian says:

      More good points. I have to say that I’ve never quite understood the desperation shown by some fans on this site towards needing Saliba to immediately be drafted into the team. He may be a good prospect, and may be developing well, but is still a very young man with no EPL experience.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        How is he going to get that EPL experience?

        1. Pepe says:

          By playing in France

          1. ken1945 says:

            Yep, that makes perfect sense… I don’t think.

    2. Ak says:

      After this current loan, he has just 2yrs left off his contract. Good luck getting him to sign an extension after he complained about a 2nd loan and got rewarded with a 3rd.

      And as an Arsenal fan why are you so bothered about the financial aspect of the deal, are you getting a share of whatever is gained IF he gets sold?

  6. Mark Lankester says:

    Arteta is trying to make changes to our style of play, which involves less tackles being made. Last season we made the fewest tackles in the EPL.
    Now if Arteta knows that he is having to change a particular facet of play, which is very important with a view to reducing yellow and red cards (please do not say that it didn’t happen last season because that was nothing to do with Arteta more PGMOL), then having a 20/21 year old kid who is still learning could be an issue. Bedding in a new defence as will happen this season means that his chances should improve in 2022/23. I hope it does for his sake. If not he will be out the door or running down his contract.
    He is by no means our worse ever signing.

    1. Durand says:

      Hmm, reducing yellow and red cards, yet Xhaka starts nearly every match. Let me think on that one a bit.

  7. Silentstan says:

    1) i believe Saliba should have seen thru pre season to be assessed
    2) Even without a fee his wages make Willian our worst signing of recent
    3) stating FACTS such as 3rd most points since December Nd 3rd beat defensive record since December IS NOT twisting facts. They are facts!

    1. Pepe says:

      What about the best team in Europe in their last 5 matches

  8. kev says:

    First to clear doubts, Granit Xhaka to AS Roma is a done deal. He is 100% leaving Arsenal.

    To state things clear, Smith-Rowe has signed a new contract. Brought you this news when there as uncertainty and people said he might go to Villa. Its a done deal. Agent was just doing his thing.

    Spurs are very keen on Aouar and are holding discussions with both Aouar’s reps and Lyon. Arsenal had a £22m bid rejected, but they are still in talks. No 2nd bid yet.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Thanks @kev!

    2. guy says:

      As usual Kev – thanks for the info – your data seems to be more often than not spot on. Interesting if we had a £22m bid rejected, as others have said we bid £17m but Lyon WANTED £22m minimum. I like your version better and its typical of the way Lyon try to leverage fees – I bet they’re happy as Larry to mention Spurs as a suitor.

    3. Joe. S says:

      Thanks Kev. The only good news on this depressing stream I don’t want to get started on Arteta but just about everything that comes out of his mouth is a downer. I hope he can Bach it with results and some decent football.

    4. Shine says:

      Xhaka has been great n shown fighting spirit over the years in Arsenal. You can’t satisfy everyone but Tyvm for Yr contribution n willing to step up.

      Emile Smith! I was never in doubt he will definitely extend his stay in Arsenal. He’s definitely Arsenal present n future star player since fabregas time.
      Just getting excited what sort of damage he n Saka n new partnerships in midfield will do. I hope 1 day his name n shirt number will be up along the Arsenal Legends! We really need new legend it’s been a long time…

  9. Declan says:

    None of us are party to the reasoning behind another loan and if there is a problem between player and manager. If he comes back with a complete season under his belt, something he hasn’t had up until now, it may turn out to be the making of him. But, if he lives up to the hype and is still not wanted by us and gets sold, it could be the best investment of £27 million we have ever made. The price tag being banded around for White comes to mind.

    1. guy says:

      Hi Dec. He’s just turned 20, thats nursery school age for CBs, he’s had an awful lot of upheaval and bad luck over the last year or so. Media keep pumping him for contraversial quotes to stir things up. Of course he wants to and thinks he should play, but so do all footballers (unless they are called Ozil or Willian). What would we think of him if he said he’s not good enough?
      I don’t think there is a particular personality clash, but if MA thinks someone cant play a part yet, he wants them playing full time somewhere else – Saliba is not unique, other players of his age are being sent out too. What’s getting everyone upset is the price tag. But we can’t let the tail wag the dog. MA stands or falls on this stuff – not us!

      1. Shine says:

        Yeap Media.
        I have been noticing the media over the years are becoming more ruthless n Stiring up alot of unneeded n biased rumors.

  10. Iain says:

    Worst Signing? Jesus wept- ADMIN at least make an effort to filter out Dan Smiths clickbait titles.

    I have one word in response to this cr@pola

    Runarrson.

    1. guy says:

      You can give a lot more than one Iain! It’s a long list.
      he’s a kid. We have a limited squad size. Can’t afford choosing a squad player who may not be ready – play a few games then bench him all year? What does that do to his confidence, development and value? If you watched the Hibs game you will agree that playing him pre-season will tell us nothing.
      He’s still a great prospect and just turned 20.

    2. Dan says:

      But you clicked on and read ?
      Then commented lol

    3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      Spot on Iain about the whole clickbait gig…be careful though, as there’s some really thin-skinned folks out there when it comes to the usage of this terminology, even when it’s entirely appropriate for the situation

      1. Dan says:

        Long as peeps are reading it that’s okay by me lol

  11. Quantic Dream says:

    Am sitting tight waiting for Arteta’s dismissal in January.

    1. Admin Pat says:

      So if we win our first 10 games you still want him sacked?

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        Absolutely yes Admin Pat – he should be marched around the Emirates with a sign of shame!

        I am an Arteta sceptic who is refraining from my negative tendencies right now, but 10 to start would certainly put a bounce in my step.

      2. Gunners4life says:

        My predictions of our first 10 games:
        Vs Brentford : Win
        Vs Chelsea: Lose
        Vs Man C: Lose
        Vs Norwich: Win
        Vs Burnley: Win
        Vs Spurs: Win
        Vs Brighton: Draw
        Vs Crystal palace: Win
        Vs Villa: Draw
        Vs Leicester: Lose
        Total: 5W, 2D, 3L (17 points)

        1. Weeble says:

          Brighton, Leicester and Villa are wins…8,0,2
          24 pt.s
          If you’re in Michigan I’ll put a pint on that at McShanes in Detroit, it’s the Arsenal pub.

          1. Gunners4life says:

            If you look at how we struggled in the attacking department last season, you know we would have more draws. The past 2 seasons Arteta has successfully transformed our goalscoring department in the league from 70+ to 50+ goals a season. Anyway, 17 points is realistic under Arteta. If we extrapolate the number, we would finish with 65 points at the end of the season. Our league points for 3 consecutive seasons would then be 56, 61, 65, which is a slight improvement every time. For me personally, #artetaout is not too much to ask, unless we wanna stay as midtable club for another few seasons..

  12. SueP says:

    Stats are wonderful things, and I compared Saka and Saliba in relation to their national teams to see how they compare.

    Saliba must have been a promising youngster for Arsenal to fork out £27m on him as an 18 year old but he has still not yet broken through to the senior French team having played once for the U20’s.

    Saka on the other hand has a considerably better record at Under 19, and Under 21. 9 caps for the senior side too. Fofana who Saliba is often compared with has more recently played for France at U21 level.

    Something is telling me that however talented/promising Saliba is, he still hasn’t reached the next level yet. If he was good enough his national teams would be using him in some capacity. Their scouts would be keeping an eye on his progress with a view to picking him particularly if he is playing in France.

    I really hope that this year out on loan again in France works out for him and for Arsenal. I have nothing against him at all. The fee may have been too high and this could well have affected his performance, but I have to trust that Arteta and Edu have his best interests at heart – well they ought to as he is a very expensive asset that they will want to benefit from.

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      That is a good point SueP and it shows the danger for the likes of me looking at news stories. Virtually every player has had a cap (I exaggerate) so all news stories start with Country X starlet, or X international. I went to sailing regattas in the US so maybe I am a Canadian International – sad comment on Canada :-).

      1. SueP says:

        Aw!
        Sounds like you had fun.

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    We won’t know how good or bad he is until he actually plays some games for us. In France he’s highly rated and with the talent coming out of there he must be decent. Seems strange spending all that money and loaning him so other teams benefiting from him!

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      I applaud your old school namesake…in your honour, I said it out loud 5 times really quickly when no one was within earshot…yours truly, Mike Hawk

  14. Durand says:

    Just for sake of comparison.

    1. 18 year old Martinelli 1st year under Emery scored 10 goals and 4 assists. Yet Arteta doesn’t think he’s ready, and continues with Dead fish Willian all year.

    2. Didn’t think ESR was ready & only played due to injuries. Obviously eye test shows ESR is ready.

    3. Didn’t think Willock was ready, goes on to absolutely smash at Newcastle; perhaps Arteta didn’t know how to use him?

    4. Thought Runarrson was ready to be backup GK.

    Arteta himself shown plenty of evidence that he is not ready, yet we trust in him discerning if a player is?

    Should have kept Saliba for majority of preseason to determine if he’s ready; that would have been smarter play, could still loan afterwards.

    Sorry but with his track record with players and their management Arteta hasn’t shown he is right or even close.

    OT
    Club will spend £72 million on Pepe, chase White for £54 million but won’t spend on a top manager or director of football?

    Is it possibly because they would not tolerate how Kronke’s run the club or tow the company line?

    1. SueP says:

      Durand
      You are getting wound up before the season has started so I hope Arteta surprises you for the best.

      You OT comments are really poignant. The signing of Pepe was a disgrace at that price and the pay grade above the manager were responsible for that.

      I wasn’t keen that Arsenal signed Arteta as I felt Arsenal should have aimed for the top with a proven man. There was more than a hint that such a man would have been put off by the Kroenke’s regime

      1. Durand says:

        SueP
        Thanks regarding my Off Topic comments. I have always scratched my head in wonder why Kronke forks out millions for players and wages.

        Compare that to the last 2 managerial choices and Edu. Think he wants a controllable person that will not rock the boat.

        Someone content with top 6 or top 4 and not expect CL trophy as it would hurt his bottom line and profits.

        Last 10 years shows Kronke wants profits but not expectations that come with contenders. His investments in “management” like Edu, coaches like Arteta show it.

        Does anyone honestly believe Arteta will get us challenging for PL title in next 3 years? Quarter finals of CL?

        He got Arteta because he’s malleable; former player, ecstatic to be hired, tow the compny line, won’t rock the boat like a Tuchel or Allegri will.

        1. VasC says:

          Kroenkes are not forking out their own millions for players. The management does that through our “self-sustaining” business model which is not so much self-sustaining as it used to be.

          If Arteta does the right things in his remaining two years of his current contract, there is a possibility for us challenging for the PL title in the next three years..

          Arteta is a good choice to be a part, not the head, of the rebuild project. Having only the unproven Edu and Vinai to support him seems to be a strange decision. With Garlick on board now, I hope things will get better.

          Tuchel and Allegri have managed and found success with clubs either playing in relatively least competitive leagues or super-rich. When the club is in troubled waters, it is imperative that the manager is not the one to further rock the boat instead of trying to steady it.

      2. jon fox says:

        Surely a stone cold certainty, rather than a mere “hint” SueP. Knowing fans surely realise we canot attract a famous world name as manager under Kroenke.

        That is plain , well at least to me! I do not support MA because he was my choice but because I am a realist and KNOW we will not get a NAGELSMAN OR AN ALLEGI WHILE KROENKE REMAINS HERE.

        If we sacked MA and got a like for like replacement we would be going back to square one and that is daft IMO.

        Hence my support but I am not blind to his faults though.

    2. Gunners4life says:

      This is so true!!! None of the big clubs are doing what Arsenal is doing. Edu and Arteta 😂😂😂

    3. Sue says:

      Judged on 2.5 games!
      I thought he was being given a chance to impress during preseason?? Obviously not. The same with Willock, and it looks like he’s heading back to Geordieland.
      Plus all the clean slate talk – all to be taken with a pinch of salt!!

    4. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      Whatever you do Durand, don’t let anyone dissuade you from providing your usual well-reasoned and insightful tidbits about our continuing predicament…although SueP is almost always a thoughtful and considerate poster, her philosophy regarding Arteta is more in line with the increasingly problematic notion of simply closing one’s eyes and hoping for the best…of course, I have no real problem with those who adopt a more non-confrontational approach to the matters at hand, except that, in my estimation, it’s long past the point of “peaceful” resistance and/or quiet acceptance when it comes to our longtime slow-sinking ship

      1. SueP says:

        To use a Foxism TRVL
        Tosh
        Are you any more sure that Arteta will be hope – less than I am more hope – full?

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          I’m not sure why you’re so rattled SueP, as I was very complimentary towards you…what did I say that was tosh-worthy?

          1. guy says:

            I think “tosh” is quite endearing! (I’m going to get censured now by admin for being flippant and not mentioning football once…)

            .

          2. SueP says:

            Not rattled at all TRVL. No need to worry!
            I’m not as negative towards Arteta as you so I’m hopeful that he’ll do a better job than last year
            I’m not shutting my eyes and hoping it all goes away …. Hence tosh. I’m hopeful Arsenal is not a sinking ship.
            If I’m wrong, there will be ‘the I told you so’ brigade delightfully letting me know – again. I’m fully expecting it.
            The thing is, there are so very few exceptional managers – and they are at the very top clubs already, that Arteta was always going to be a risk. We’ll know in a few weeks what he has learned- or failed to learn over the summer.

          3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            trust me SueP, I’m not a proponent of the whole “told you so” approach, especially from within the same fanbase, albeit it’s so enticing at times that it’s difficult to bite one’s lip…when Arteta does something astute and/or noteworthy, I’m certainly not adverse to giving him kudos…unfortunately there haven’t been very many moments, since his arrival, where that would apply…I applauded him for finding a way to raise the FA, even though it was achieved on the backs of some fairly poor footballing, by several parties, including ourselves, but that quickly led to some incredibly short-sighted decisions regarding transfers, ingoing and out, the supposed developmental mandate and the selection process…for me it’s a lot of 2 steps forward and 4 back, which is a difficult pill to swallow, especially considering the fact that he had earned some time and cred with the FA, which would have allowed him to pursue the much-needed “rebuild” last off-season

    5. Angus says:

      1. Martinelli has scored 5 goals in the prem. 2 under Arteta and 3 under Emery as well as 1 assist under Arteta and 2 assists under Emery. The rest of Martinelli’s stats were padded cups under Emery especially playing as the main striker (which even Emery said wasn’t his best position) in the Europa group stage (3 goals, 2 assists)

      2. Why do people keep repeating this outright lie? Arteta refused to loan ESR out because he was going to be part of the 1st team. Then he got injured was out for the entire start of the season. Was eased back correctly in the Europa games from a long injury (something we used mess up in the past) and then was in the 1st team ever since. Arteta quite literally said I’m keeping him he’s ready last summer. Stop lying.

      3. Willock wasn’t ready. He’s appeared 61 times for Arsenal scoring 7 (bpl/europa) of which 6 were in the Europa league. The fact he scored 8 in 14 for Newcastle doesn’t change that. He had complete freedom both from Newcastle and from the opposition because it’s newcastle. He did well I’m pleased for him but proof will be when he does it in an Arsenal shirt.

      4. No one ever thought Runarrson was ready. We wanted to keep Martinez. Martinez refused to sign unless guaranteed to start so we had to sell (Martinez took the easy option btw.) We look at Raya but Brentford wouldn’t budge on price so we took a cheap gamble on Runarrson as back up. Didn’t work, we brought in Ryan in Jan and we’re looking at others now. None of this is remotely how you pretend. Your ignoring the pandemic for a start which is the only reason we get a different keeper last year.

      1. Gunners4life says:

        1. That “padded cups” goals from martinelli, why cant arteta give him the same opportunity? At least play him and some other young players more in the cups…
        2. Cant argue with u. I think Arteta trusts saka and esr now.
        3. You can only blame Willock if he played badly at Newcastle too. Him underperforming at Arsenal means it is Arteta’s fault!
        4. Cant blame Emi if he wants to move out. But runarrson as our backup keeper?? Are we a 2nd tier team??? Or we just dont have the money?

        1. Angus says:

          1. Again like ESR he was out injured for the majority of the group phase and League cup.
          2. Thanks
          3. I like willock but pretending he propelled a team to top 4 nevermind a title is nonsense is my point. Levels.
          4.Can blame emi. He sat as 3rd choice for years collecting the check then took the easy option after his breakout season. No discussion, up to him but it was the easy option. As to runarrson why can’t anyone grasp that we got screwed by the pandemic last window so we had no options. It’s not difficult.

  15. Stewart Macintosh says:

    I think he is far from worst signing as of yet.

    Weirdest signing, most confusing signing – Saliba may be a candidate for those awards right now.

    This kid could still end up as a long term Gunner – he is only 20 so that makes it a good or potentially great signing; he could be sold at or near cost down the road which makes it an okay gamble; he could be sold at 1/2 cost which is moderately poor or turn out to be a massive flop.

    The other one that scares me is that Arsenal management just doesn’t give him a chance and he goes on to be a regular French international, winning the champions league and EPL for the likes of the evil MU or another club.

    As a lot of us keep saying – this is a weird situation but we don’t know the story so I will refrain from pointing fingers.

  16. gerry burke says:

    saliba, in my opinion, will prove to be one of our better signings, i am totally convinced the way arteta is handling him will turn him into one of the top centre backs in europe. but only in time, we must be patient here. worst signing of all time, for me , has to be mesut ozil, the greatest waste of money ever by any football club.between his transfer fee and his ridicilous wages he has to be ,not only , the worst signing ever, but, also, the costliest.a typical wenger signing , in my opinion, both of them long gone, and here we are , still here , supporting the arsenal. to me, this proves that no person is bigger than arsenal. and proper order too.

    1. Gunners4life says:

      Stats shows otherwise. 254 games, 44 goals, 77 assists.

  17. indian gooner says:

    saliba will comeback much stronger next season he will get his chance because this rookie manager will soon be sacked

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Interesting…. In your Crystal ball does it tell you WHY he will sacked?

      1. indian gooner says:

        premier league results will tell you that, with him we don’t even qualify for Europa league. all the premier league team is improving with this manager we cant even get top 6 . now we are competing with the teams like west ham, leicester, and everton even aston villa,

        1. guy says:

          IG, that is football – it is a cyclical game. All of the current elite teams have spent periods lower down, or even out of the division. No club or supporter has the right to demand success for ever, because it is impossible. That is the curse but also the fascination of being a supporter of any team.

          1. VasC says:

            Wish we have more sensible fans like you.

          2. Ozziegunner says:

            👍 guy; however it is galling when supporters see the reason for Arsenal being where they are and the owners/management appear oblivious to what is required to change the situation.
            Arsenal needs an upgrade in midfield to produce more goals, progress the ball better from defense to attack and provide service to what is, on paper, a decent forward line. A quality DM, CAM/#10 and a back up goalkeeper are the bare minimum required. Yet all we see is procrastination, apart from a back up DM and LB, with the team shortly leaving for the Florida Cup in Miami. So much for a preseason to bed in players.

        2. SueP says:

          IG, He won’t be a rookie next season so give him a chance instead of pillorying him before the season starts. Arteta will either sink or swim by mid Autumn and then we will all have a better idea if the majority are right in their assessment. He was backed by the board to continue so we are all waiting and watching and in my case, hoping, that he gets on the right track

        3. Admin Pat says:

          Again – you are predicting failure!

          A supporter wants the team to win whoever the manager is….

          1. Ak says:

            Arsenal not finishing in the top6 will probably not be seen as a failure if it happens again because then it would have happened 3x. And I’m not convinced we’ve done anything to remedy that with Arteta still in charge.
            Seems we now have a management more concerned about financial success that footballing success.

          2. ken1945 says:

            So true Pat and yet you and I know we have “supporters” on here who have in the past prayed for our club to lose matches – how any so called “supporter” can think like that is a complete mystery and turns my stomach!!!!

        4. Kondwani Tyson says:

          Thanks@ kev! I always follow your updates

  18. Voyageur says:

    I can’t tell if this is a serious question or click bait. I’ll assume the intent wa genuine. Is Saliba – a 20 year old playing in a position where players normally don’t peak until their mid to late 20s, who is developing nicely and has excelled in his loan appearances, whose salary is being picked up by other teams, who Arsenal could probably sell for what he cost if Arteta/Edu really didnt rate him – the worst signing we have ever made?

    No.

    Not even close.

    Was this even a serious question? Smh

    1. guy says:

      Not sure Voyageur. There’s a lot of, shall I say “provocative” articles being posted lately!

      1. Admin Pat says:

        They are only “provocative” if you disagree with the writer….

        1. guy says:

          Lol Pat – I think from the majority feedback this one may be a tad provocative! Doesn’t make it bad, whether you agree or not. I went on News Now earlier, which is where I find lots of Arsenal feeds, and your headline is popping up all over – a distinct danger of going viral !
          A lot of comments and debate here though, and we are all staying civil today, so a successful post!

    2. Dan says:

      So you think 27 million for someone not to.play is a great signing ?

      1. SueP says:

        It’s not a great signing in so far as a lot of money was tied up in a prospect

        How many times do I read that teenagers are still developing – which is hardly surprising. With countless young academy players never going that bit further and ending up in the lower divisions it is equally possible that Saliba falls short too. I sincerely hope not, for both him and the club but it was a very expensive hunch for a club not known for splashing the cash like Chelsea and ManU

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          SueP, unfortunately the comparison is thus far, Fofana under Rodgers at Leicester City (albeit opportunity occurring due to a player injury) versus Saliba under Arteta at Arsenal.

          1. SueP says:

            I don’t honestly think you can compare 2 different individuals Ozziegunner. They were not cloned

            It’s possible that with Rodgers’ experience he did a better job with Fofana.

            By looking at those stats it just showed development occurs differently from person to person

    3. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 Voyageur

  19. JK says:

    It’s all about value. Arsenals biggest problem is they can never sell players for any profit. We have yet to sale anyone of note this window, all loans so far. If Saliba stayed and couldn’t beat out Holding, Mari, Gabriel for starts, then he would be another huge wage earner not contributing and then couldn’t be sold. Loaning him keeps him developing and keeps his value up. He may be slightly better than what we have but he may not be either. I am Ok with his loans if in the end it maximizes him or we sell for a profit. If we don’t do either, THEN we would be the worst run team in the top flight!

  20. Phenom says:

    I’m an Arteta fan but the way he’s handling Emery signings are absurd.
    Buying Lokonga while we have Willock and Torreira is difficult to understand.

    Torreira was once our best midfielder and always show up against the big teams.
    I am beginning to think he has an agenda with Emery signings.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Emery didn’t sign anyone. As “head coach” he was expected to coach the players provided to him. William Saliba was a Sven Mislantat signing and as we all know, his nick name is “Diamond Eye” because he can’t pick a good footballer!
      Too bad Arsenal didn’t make him Director of Football.

      1. VasC says:

        So true. If Emery is to be believed, even our record signing Pepe wasn’t his choice.

  21. RFrancis says:

    Nothing to add to this vibrant discussion above, perfectly timed for what can be considered the most disastrous start to the pre-season.

    To the list of clubs benefitting from our charitable donations – Nice, Marseille and Saint Etienne – we are soon to add Brighton Hove & Albion FC, if trade rumors are true. The amount involved here is close to 27M too – the difference between our 54M offer and the fair market value for Ben White (a player we do not need).

    Apparently, we are about to change our official line of business from: ambitious club competing to win the premier league to a charitable venture,
    working to advance the interest of other clubs.

    1. Gunners4life says:

      You dont know Stan. Maybe he is planning to buy Nice, Marseille and Brighton..

  22. Benjamin says:

    For me, Saliba is the second worst signing because, as the writer said it’s a waste of 27 m pounds for not playing. At least he did nothing wrong with the club.

    Arteta, who pull down and destroy my beloved club is the worst signing for me.

  23. Reggie says:

    Saliba is not a bad signing, far from it. His problem is the manager treating him like a leper and being a spoilt school kid in the process. Saliba is not the problem, Arteta is!

  24. Tolu says:

    Absolutely agree. WORST EVER SIGNING. Lacked any sort of mental fortitude or leadership needed from a so called ‘world class player’
    Attitude stunk on the pitch. An absolute robber and bottler and shackler. He is not fit to shine Sanchez’s boots.
    I threw a party when he left.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Sean is right about the treatment of Fofana at Leicester City under Brendan Rodgers and Saliba at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta.
      Heaven help Arsenal loaning out Saliba, with Gabriel injured should the Ben White deal fail to eventuate.
      In my opinion Dan Smith calling William Saliba, Arsenal’s worst transfer is totally unfair to a young man, who has been given no opportunity to show his wares by Mikel Arteta and only wants to play football. What we are witnessing is Arsenal wasting the talent of a footballer, rated by many the best young CB in Europe.
      Bob’s has pointed out the history of young CB’s breaking into first team football in major leagues, including Tony Adams and Martin Keown at Arsenal.
      In response to SueP, why wouldn’t Fofana be given opportunities to play for France U21’s ahead of Saliba, when he is playing first team football for Leicester City and Saliba was playing for Nice?

      1. SueP says:

        OG
        I disagree that a player would be overlooked on the basis that he played for Nice. Sorry, I can’t get to grips with that. Agree to disagree

      2. Sue says:

        Saliba has played more times for France U23s than Fofana has…

        1. Sue says:

          Or so I thought haha

      3. Sue says:

        Although Ozzie, interesting how Saliba was selected for the Olympic squad, yet Fofana was overlooked….

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          Sue and SueP, Saliba did win at least one Ligue 1 player of the month award at Nice IIRC, yet is considered not ready for the eighth placed team in the EPL.

          1. SueP says:

            OG
            I did just want to check more on the loan to Marseilles and read what Edu had to say. It appears that there was no issue from Saliba and the club felt that he would benefit more by being there
            If he and Arteta think Saliba isn’t ready to come back this season but will be back next season as no option to buy, then I’m seeing this as a positive. He will get the game time and come back stronger for us Well, that’s the plan.
            I look at Reiss Nelson who refused to go on loan, saying he wanted to fightfor his place. It didn’t happen for him and he looks to have wasted a valuable year. I’d hate that to happen to Saliba

          2. Ozziegunner says:

            SueP, a contract extension prior to the loan would have been advisable. I still believe Arsenal is wasting a resource in Saliba, something given financial onstraints they can’t afford to do.
            If Saliba does well at Marseille, he may want to leave with 2 years left on his contract.

  25. RFrancis says:

    I think the article was meant to show how the club failed to develop and use the asset they acquired in young Saliba. That’s all. Any perception that the writer was being unfair to the young man is unfortunate, in my view.

  26. Joe. S says:

    Saliba will shine away from Arteta or for Arsenal once Arteta leaves. Either way it’s a botched job.

  27. Aaron says:

    Won’t know unless we play him!

  28. Grandad says:

    If he plays very well this season, and he may do, PSG may come in and offer 50m for him, an offer which we would not turn aside , in which case he could turn out to be one of our best signngs?

  29. Glorious says:

    Allegri is a good coach, a winner, an experience, l hope we will get him if Artetar did not perform to our satisfaction. I am praying that Artetar will be able to turn us back into a top 4 club in EPL. But the signs are gloomy. If he wants to succeed, let him sign Sterling ($50) from Man city, Grealish($70) from Aston Villa, and pull a coup for Kane ($130) from Tottenham. This will be starting point of our project rebuilding. Any thing short of this will still be a backward drive for the club. My little advice

  30. Johnze says:

    I don’t agree with the article. Worst signing EVER ? Even if yes, we paid 27m, and some of his salaries last year, apparently there is a loan fee with Marseille. When he comes back, he will have 2 years of contract. So if the manager does not like him, and he made a decent season, we will be able to sell him easily for 15. Maybe more. For me Willian is a worse signing. Apparently signing bonuses included it will cost 35m over 3 years. No sale value. For what this year ? Except first game, 1 goal, 2 assist ! This is one of the worse signing of the last years. Above saliba. And he does not hamper the progress of some youngsters with his playing time, something Willian do. All his minutes were minutes away from nelson, willock, balogun… This is just IMO, but yet i would not go to say EVER. It is harsh to label someone of that. But they were some big mistakes. Park chu young and Chamakh : 34m for 74 combined appearances and 15 goals (at a time where salaries and budgets were smaller). Really better than saliba ? Francis Jeffers at the time who unfortunately had injuries too. Cost 10m at the time the biggest or almost the biggest signing of the club. For 22 games… Big flop and so on. Saliba may be, for the moment, a costly signing. But might still end up as an arsenal good player or end up being sold for a decent fee…

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