‘Not enough for me’ – Petit warns Arsenal that Saliba should demand guarantees

Emmanuel Petit has claimed that Arsenal would need to give William Saliba certain guarantees to come back and play next season.

The defender has been enjoying a key role in Marseille this term, helping his side to currently sit in the Champions League places in Ligue 1, and he has been tipped to be a part of the first-team plans in north London next term.

Similar was being said 12 months ago however, when he was on loan at Nice in the French division, but with the 20 year-old now being called up by the France national team, continuing to overlook him may become an issue.

Should Mikel Arteta look to bring him into the fold for next season, he may need to guarantee him opportunities to break up the partnership of Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White however, who formed a strong bond this term, with Petit claiming that telling him that he is wanted in the squad may not be enough.

Petit told The Arsenal Way: “Does he have the guarantee that if he comes back to Arsenal he will play every single game?

“I’m not sure about that. He’s in the first XI at Marseille, he’s playing every single game.

“If you ask him to come back to Arsenal then he’ll need guarantees: ‘After what I did for Marseille, now I’m in the national team because of my displays with Marseille every single weekend so when you ask me to come back, okay, I need guarantees, I must play, I need to keep on improving myself, I need to go step by step’.”

Petit says it will not be enough for Arteta to just say to Saliba he wants him back as part of his squad. He added: “If you tell him I want you to come back because of what you’ve done for Marseille, this is not enough for me.

“If I am Saliba, this is not enough for me because this is my career as well. ‘I’m very happy to be an Arsenal player but I want you to show me confidence, and on top of it more importantly I want you to play me, I don’t want to be on the bench’.

“White and Gabriel are very good together. If I am Saliba I am asking so many questions.”

It’s difficult to disagree with Petit’s comments. Saliba will likely be wanting a first-team role and not a bit-part role to stay in north London next term, and I’m not completely sold that we can guarantee him that.

He may well have to take the upcoming pre-season schedule as his opportunity to stake a claim for one of the two CB roles in the team, with Marseille likely to jump at the chance to sign him on another loan deal in the summer if that was deemed the best option for both the player and Arsenal, but not giving him a role next term could well be a mistake for us as he could easily grow frustrated with his lack of opportunities and trust shown thus far.

Do you think Arteta would be willing to rotate his back line next term? Will Saliba be willing to stay as back-up to White and Gabriel?


Tags Emmanuel Petit William Saliba


  1. Saliba will be needed with more games coming Arsenal way through Champions league. With Champions league, more quality players will add to the depth.

  2. No player should be guaranteed anything but a fair competiton for places. Sounds to me, Petit almost want Arteta to guarantee him a starting role in a minimum number of games.
    Can’t work.

  3. Saliba holds all the aces ,he might have 2 years remaining but if he wants out ,which from the way he has talked then the club have no other option but to sell or risk losing yet another player to bad asset management .

  4. That’s a very unwarranted demand. Nobody does that in big teams that have several games during a campaign.

    If Arteta were good at rotation like his counterparts of Liverpool and Man City, no player would demand that.

    Saliba is an Arsenal player and has to come and fight for regular playing time like others.

    I begin to sense that Saliba is scared of the PL. I think he lacks self-confidence when it comes to the PL

  5. I’m not sure what aces he holds?, the Club has player registration, therefore if we don’t want him in the squad for next season or he isn’t committed to the Club we can sell and the better his reputation gets and with the National team call up should help with a selling price if it comes to that

    A number of Arsenal fans have continued their admiration of him from a distance which is fair enough but I wonder just how many decent bids from Clubs we would get if it comes to it, that will be the real yardstick of the player he may have become

    I admit that he could chuck a moody and tell the Club that he doesn’t want to play for them (transfer request?) but no Clubs want to offer a decent figure for him so we let him go for less than we as fans expect, that’s the worse case scenario I guess

    I hope it doesn’t happen that way and that he returns to the Club that originally invested in him, waits patiently for his opportunities (as a lot of other talented young players have done at the Club who have also had International call ups) and shows us what he can do

  6. All indications and comments from Arteta up to this point are about bringing Saliba back into the fold as he has been happy with the results of his loan spells.

    I believe Arteta and Edu both know what a gem Saliba is, and plan to give him opportunities in the squad as Arteta himself has spoken about in the past.

    Saliba could be a keystone player for us over the next decade, so I’m sure the club will want to give him a long fair look.

  7. Imagine a back line of 5. You could have white push further up through the middle, Tierney and Tom push up on the wings. Partey centre. Ode/ Rowe. Saka. Marti.
    And the addition of a mammoth centre forward.
    We could win the league without injuries of course.

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