Opinion: What has happened to William Saliba?

William Saliba was expected to make Arsenal a better defensive team when he eventually joined us.

The 19-year-old was signed last summer, but the Gunners allowed him to spend the last campaign back on loan at Saint Etienne.

The defender helped them reach the final of the French Cup last season and he was even denied the chance to play the final when the club wouldn’t agree to Arsenal’s terms.

That action made me think that Arsenal was protecting him from being injured because he is expected to start playing as soon as this season began.

The season has started and he has only played for our youth team so far. 

I wonder what happened to him. There was so much hype around him coming to eventually start playing for us and I was keen to see him in action.

Did Mikel Arteta realise that he isn’t as good as we’ve been told he was? Did he suddenly become worse than he was in France? Is he nursing an injury?

These are questions that I have been asking myself. If Gabriel Magalhaes, who didn’t play any football for six months, can come in and start playing immediately, something must have really happened to Saliba and I wish we knew what.

An article from Ime

Tags William Saliba


  1. Gosh I wonder if it has anything to do with him being 19 and never playing in PL before. I could be wrong, afterall there are lots of examples of teenage central defenders leading PL teams to glory… aren’t there?

    Be patient. Nothing has “happened to Saliba”, Arteta will know when he’s ready.

  2. Arteta has his preferences i remember begging for him to play martineli over nkettiah we all know martineli was better but arteta turned deff ear and was forced to give martineli a chance when auba got a red…
    i will see chances coming hard for saliba and he is not arteta signing too

    1. I feel same way, I think MA is kind of not keen on UE signings. Martenelli even he was fit was over looked and now saliba. I hope I am wrong and he gives Saliba chance to show what top player he is. Boy is next Varane to come out of France.

  3. Saliba wasnt even emery’s signing nor MA But the board.

    He might not have impressed the boss at the training.

    Sure he must be grumbling by now, but eurapa and lots of games are ahead.

    But honestly lets observe a munite of silence for mesut ozil and matteo guenduzi, these two are ….lol

  4. Hasnt MA publically stated that
    Arsenal fans should be patient
    with the youngsters progress in
    the first team and not place any
    unnecessary expectations on
    the teenager this early in the

    When he is ready MA will unleash
    the young man, until that time
    take a deep breath and enjoy
    futbol while we still can.

  5. At some point in time Saliba will play cause there are a lot of games coming in thick and fast.

    Also, I am having a feeling that Arteta does not like Emery’s signings except Luiz.
    Martinelli, Torreira, Guendouzi, Saliba all struggling for game time,

    It won’t be bad to see this defense put out tomorrow.

    Gabriel, Luiz, Saliba,


    1. Martinelli has a long term injury, SJ..not expected back in training until the end of the year… can’t wait to see him again!

    2. Martinelli long term injured.
      Torriera cannot handle Premier League.
      Guendouzi dropped due to ill discipline.
      Saliba was injured on loan in France but will play soon.

  6. Saka Martinelli and Saliba are one set of 19 year olds who have 10 plus years in the game. Why must we throw them into the mix and ask them to play week in week out.

    Even Saka doesnt get 90mins week in week out.
    First for Saliba is to acclimatise to London and his team mates. Then to work on his core as he still has a teenager physical presence, and for a CB that’s not gona cut it in the EPL.

    Time is required. I expect him to get fame time as the season runs its course

    1. Have u seen saliba alongside Gabriel in a picture, teenage physical presence?. saliba(6 ft 4) is a bit bigger and taller than Gabriel(6 ft 3)

  7. I think it takes different people a certain amount of time to adapt to England . Y’all remember caglar soyuncu, he literally didn’t play a single minute during his first year and came back the second year like he’s been playing in the league for years .
    I am sure mikel rates him but he’s just trying to ease him in because it takes a little mistake for him to lose his confidence especially when fans get on his back .

  8. Maybe he is a really good center half, better than anything we have currently on the books.

    If that is true, we will undoubtedly be trying hard to sell him to Aston Villa for next to nothing.

    Sorry about the cynicism, I just can’t get over the selling of Martinez

  9. We fans like to create hogwash stories where there is none..Arteta did say we need to be patient with Saliba & i think we should give him time whatever thst means😅😅😅

  10. No l don’t think this is a problem…. Saliba will have his opportunity… the season is just starting and we are already worried…. lets take a chill pill and see what is going to happen as the season goes.

    I remember when fabinho came to Liverpool. They went for abt seven games without him being involved… but his opportunity came,, and see the level he is at now

  11. Well said Marshal.To me Fabinho is the type of DM we need.He is a key man for Liverpool and can slip effortlessly between his centre backs and midfielders.He is also very physical when the need arises as Auba will confirm.

  12. Hehe..Monreal joined us and played 2 days later! Maybe Saliba just isn’t convincing in training like Mavropanos or MA dislikes him. It’s really strange Gabriel arrived AFTER him and still played BEFORE him.

  13. Could partly be fans fault as well. Towards the end of last season, with our defensive frailties, Saliba has been hailed as the next Messiah. While Luiz can deal with the intense criticism premier league fans dish out, for a 19 year old it could be devastating. It may be Arteta trying to ease the pressure as he acclimatises.

  14. Because MA decided to give everyone a fresh start, he gives the elder players a chance first. Emery also gave Torreira a chance first, ahead of Guendouzi.

  15. Crikey, tough crowd.
    Saliba is 19 and has never played in the Premier League.
    His mother died a few months ago, which made him homesick, and he has had injury problems this year.
    The idea that Arteta doesn’t want to play Emery signings is farcical.
    Arteta wants to win matches and will happily play anyone who is fit and can understand and work to his system.
    I think Saliba will prove a great signing for us.
    But, he needs and deserves patience.
    Maybe – just maybe – the professionals at The Arsenal know a little bit more about this business than we do…?

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