The positives and negatives on William Saliba potentially leaving on loan (Opinion)

William Saliba is claimed to be keen on staying at Marseille beyond the summer, while Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has claimed that he must return.

It was reported today that his on-loan club have been cleared to make a move for his signature this summer, after they sent their ban to be appealed, with the hearing now put back until October, meaning they can enter into the transfer market.

What that could mean however is that the French side may splash a little extra cash in the knowledge that they could well be banned from bringing in any new players in the next two windows, and Saliba represents an option who would not only improve them ahead of the coming season, but he should continue to improve years after too.

The player himself wants to continue in his current role, which could be good and bad for us. One the one hand, we want to keep our squad as strong as possible as we look to mount a serious bid to return to the Champions League, whilst on the other hand, Saliba helped Marseille to qualify for the CL this term, and could greatly profit from the experience of playing in that competition this season.

One more season of first-team football in his current surroundings could also be of great benefit to us, especially while we already have both Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes set to continue to build on their already positive partnership.

The problem lies in how things will feel in 12 months time. If we allow him to leave, it would have to be on the back of a new contract for the youngster, and in the agreement that we wanted him to play for us this term, but will allow him to continue under the pretence that he is to play in our first-team if all is well in a year. We can’t allow Saliba to leave because he feels like he isn’t wanted by the manager or the club, and we also need to avoid him falling in love with his current club too strongly also.

You could also argue that in another year that White and Gabriel could well have an even stronger understanding at the back, and that our return to the Europa League this term would have been enough to give Saliba his fair share of minutes in the opening months of the campaign as he looks to work his way up the pecking order.

In an ideal world, we let Saliba have what he wants and he comes back to take up a role in our first-team next season, but that seems awfully complicated. Another ideal situation is that he stays with us this term, is happy being rotated with Gabriel or White initially and swiftly earns a key role in our side similarly to how Aaron Ramsdale did this term, and he gets his wish to play in the Champions League 12 months later after helping us to break into the top four.

Either way, I feel like a new contract should be our priority while we need to sit down and discuss the long-term plan with our young star, as all our previous decisions feel like they have risked his long-term Arsenal future.


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  1. How can MA offer him a new contract, if he doesn’t think he can improve on the White / Gabriel scenario?
    This is becoming a complete farce and the sooner we bring him back and start COACHING him, the better.

  2. In fairness to William Saliba, as we used to say when I was a kid, Arteta needs to shit or get off the pot!!

    If we are not going to bring him to the Emirates for yet another season, then just let the lad leave so he can get on with his career.

    The more I see of the dynamic duo of EDU and ARTETA and the way they treat our young players (and their contracts), the more I lose respect for them.

    They gave ESR a new contract when Aston Villa made an offer for him. Now he hardly plays.
    They have given Eddie a new contract, and I suspect he will be relegated to cup duty for the foreseeable future.

    So much for Arteta’s treatment of our vaunted academy players.

    1. Some managers trust older CBs more than the younger ones, as revealed by Wenger during an interview. Saliba didn’t want to play second fiddle to Luiz and White, hence the loans in France which have done great things to his development

      As for Smith-Rowe, he lost his place to the more skilled Martinelli on the left wing and Odegaard is more suited to the right midfield position. Despite having scored plenty of goals, Smith-Rowe still has to be better than Martinelli in dribbling or play as a CAM in 4-2-3-1 formation, unfortunately we use 4-3-3 now

      Arteta gave enough chances to young players, but he still needs to prioritize results over youth development. Saka and Nketiah have benefited from the regular starting roles Arteta gave to them, while the other young players haven’t been able to seize the chances

      1. I really must be turning over a new leaf because in the past I would have relished the opportunity to take you to task for the myriad of baffling comments on offer here…instead I will simply move on and hope that your words don’t resonate with too many others…have a good one

        1. It’s just an opinion bro. In the end, it’s up to Saliba and Smith-Rowe, whether they’d like to compete with the other young Gunners or not

      2. It’s a good thing George Graham trusted young CB’s like Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown.

        1. I heard Graham’s team was great in defending, but Wenger didn’t really trust young CBs. I think Guardiola has the same preference as well

    2. He lost both his parents after he signed with us. Perhaps it was better to let a French teenager in grief stay in France and play football there. Saliba has become a better football player how could this decision be negative?

  3. I just don’t see this ending in a favourable manner…as soon as MA overpaid for White, the writing was on the wall, as he and Saliba play the same position…so unless one of White or Gabs are shipped out or we switch to a 3 or 5 back formation, I highly doubt Saliba will return to the fold

    the only possible “positive” pathway forward is if Saliba signs a new deal, with a significant release clause, so no matter what happens we retain all the leverage moving forward

    frankly speaking, this whole scenario has been horribly mishandled, as we never should have allocated so much of our resources towards the signing of another relatively unproven defender when we had Saliba waiting in the wings, especially considering the fact that this was supposedly the developmental phase of our “rebuild” and we had far more pressing needs

  4. Saliba has the potential of becoming one of the best CB’s and I think we can use this in our advantage. I would say bring him back and play him as a CB along with White and Gabi when we are playing with 3-6-1 or 3-5-2 otherwise MA can play him and keep White as a RB while giving Tomi some break and keeps interchanging between these 3 players.

  5. Just sell him doesn’t want to play for Arsenal very arrogant and over rated he’s only playing in French league which is poor even I would look good playing there!

    1. Very true. Except for the start studded PSG who cannot kick a ball right in the CL with all their might all other teams are Watford level.Who needs more flops? We have Pepe, Laca over 110M wasted. The last half decent signing from France was Koscielny (who cost us our league cup in 2011).Ben White is an England national, appreciate that.

      1. Thierry Henry
        Thiago Silva
        Eduord Mendy

        The list contains both old and current players and is very much endless. You’ve got nothing to say

    2. @danny

      It’s obvious you have absolutely nothing to say cos you’ve got ZERO footballing knowledge. So Mbappe who has played all his life in the so called “poor” league is no better than probably all EPL players because he plays in France? If their league is so poor, how come even Arsenal is looking to sign top players from there? So Saliba has become arrogant now. You’ve got nothing to say

      1. Overrated ! (Lol)
        I see the Arteta fan club have agreed with you .

        So obvious that this whole affair as been so poorly handled that even Arteta biggest ball ticklers haven’t got a leg to stand on on this one .

      2. Please ask him how many players develop in ligue1 has won epl players of the season compare to the developed in Almighty epl. Most of these Arteta’s don’t know good footballer when the see one. Like I said they are worshipping and praising him because of the way he treated players they don’t like.

    3. Danny, your knowledge or lack of is astounding but so is loose cannons, unless you are taking your Arteta shielding too new heights. Surely you dont really believe what you write.

  6. There are no positivies whats so ever. This boy just won french young player of the year & is being looked at by top TOP clubs. Let him & Ben White fight it out for RCB, as healthy competition can only be good for our defence.

  7. Not registering him as a player in 2020 and the signing of White in 2021 we’re big slaps in Saliba’s face. It’s embarrassing Arteta managed Saliba so badly.

    May not be beyond repair though, Arteta needs to pay Saliba a visit in France and have face to face conversation with him. Show the guy he has a future at Arsenal.

    If Saliba refuses to extend his contract we’ll have to sell him this summer which is a shame as Ben White is not that great honestly. Given a fair chance I would bet on Saliba winning his place alongside Gabriel in our starting 11

  8. Why even try to look for positives in this debacle. Isn’t it just poor management. Whatever, Arteta doesn’t have a leg to stand on because he has never been upfront with the Arsenal fans. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but why try to defend every single managerial decision. Has White really been a good buy? What makes him a good player, his nice guy persona and his tatts? Is his combination with Gabriel really the best that Arsenal can expect? I hope not.

  9. If we want to be a top club again we need our BEST players. William Saliba is taking France by storm. Are we idiots or a real football team who want to do another ‘INVINCIBLES’. If we don’t keep him then we would be the most stupid club in modern history.

  10. Arteta goofed on this . He didn’t give d player a chance . Spent 50 million on Ben white .
    Ben White is not as good as Saliba

  11. Arteta wanted HIS team with HIS players when he took over. Fair enough, any competent manager wants the same.

    However the problems that followed due to his inexperience and poor man management have had real consequences for the club.

    1. Spent 50 million on White, and is he any better than Saliba who was already on our books?

    2. His handling of too many players has been poor and amateurish; promising 2nd chances that never came for some, not benching players in poor form, willian and Xhaka endless chances

    3. His discipline that many praise I find skeptical. Pepe benched for weeks after red card, Xhaka always straight back in. Gabriel red, back in first chance he can play.

    Guendouzi shipped out, Xhaka gives 2 interviews where he refuses to change his play in spite of his red cards. Again, nothing from the manager.

    3. The poor handling of assets, horrible sell-on fees, loaning players while contract runs down. Wolves once offered 20 million for AMN, so much for “the plans” Arteta sold to AMN.

    They were excusable when Arteta took over, on the job training for him.

    However, 2 1/2 years later they persist, that is a problem. He hasn’t or won’t learn. We hear about player’s egos, but what of Arteta?

    January trimming debacle, freezing out players, not rotating hurt when injury bug hit, it goes on.

    Icing on the cake is 100k for Nketiah, simply shocking for a player displaying championship talent for 3 years.

    100k for Nketiah is up there with 72 million on Pepe; equally foolish and irresponsible for the return of productivity.

    1. 👍Durand, an excellent synopsis of the current situation. One could also add that any club needs a minimum of four quality CB’s to perform well in the EPL, let alone support a run in Europe. How many does Arsenal have?

  12. The Saliba situation was the only decision that got me confused with Arteta. But my opinion matters very little. Arteta is the manager so he will fail or succeed by his own decisions..

    With all that said, I would give it about a season of Saliba in the EPL, let him make a few mistakes and the same people will be labelling him all sorts.. Eg, He overrated, overhyped, championship level, an accident waiting to happen, drop him etc… They are also more likely to blame Arteta if Saliba comes in and fails to live up to the expectations.

    Does anyone want to bet? 👍🙏😊

    1. Yes the same way he will be recieving all the praise if saliba becomes a rock and makes the epl team of the season, Arteta fans will come rambling how Arteta built him into a monster

      1. This is not a fair comment. How much praise has Arteta had on this site even amongst those who support him?
        The pro-Arteta “camp” generally accept that he has not got everything right. Those who want him out are unable to say anything positive.

        1. He’s got good hair

          ,there you to David something positive for you to get your mouth around

    2. Goonster
      June 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm
      “Thomas Partey is some of the most overrated players at Arsenal”


      1. @Dan Kit
        I have been saying the same thing since Parteys first season here. He is an okay player in the Alex Song talent bracket.. Was overpriced and is overpaid.
        I don’t think he is even in the Diaby talent bracket. Partey is an okay player, but as always with some of you, you are such player hypers. You just over do it..

        I remember saying the same about your boy Ozil and you and your crew LOLing at me.. I kept saying that after watching Ozil at Arsenal i had come to a conclusion that he was one of the most overrated, overhyped, overpaid, over worshipped, over pampered and over praised footballer I had ever seen at Arsenal.. All he had to do were basics, eg; a flick here and there and you guys would go into complete Fanboy mode.. Waxing about how he is one of the greatest. Didn’t have to do much to get you lot excited beyond repair. 😊
        To this day I am yet to receive my apology on that issue.. 😊👍

        I do think Partey is a good normal talent player, but I don’t buy the overhype.. That’s all I am saying..

        1. My boy Ozil ?
          (Shirt selling genius)
          You seem to think that some of us don’t like Arteta because he got rid of him ,let me correct you there ,I don’t rate him because he’s an awful manager nothing more nothing less ,I also called for Ozil to be dropped 12 months before he left so you’re “my boy Ozil “comment is way off the mark .
          My comment above was just showing how you are exactly like the fans you are moaning about ,it’s in black and white writing no matter how much you try to excuse yourself .

          1. @Dan Kit
            I am just saying and have always said that I think Partey is overrated, overpriced and overpaid.. So I don’t know why you think I am excuses myself on my statement. I mean it hence why I am not afraid to air that opinion about Partey.. I will make the statement once again “ I think Partey is overrated, overhyped and overpaid. He is an normal nothing to get me out of my seat” kind of talent..
            I am willing to be proven wrong about him. And If I am proven wrong then I will be honest by with myself by admitting I was wrong. I am not a dogmatic person like some of you who will not change their mind if proven wrong..

            You and @Ken1945 went all out because Arteta refused to reinstate your boy (The Shirt Selling Genius). I remember all of you calling for Ozil to be reinstated and the more Arteta refused the more mad it got you guys..
            Most of you guy really turned against the guy and have never turned back due to the Ozil saga..

            You did the same to Emery too, all because he tried to push your “Shirt Selling Genius” out.

            You called for Ozil to be dropped 12 months before he left? Pleae stop the mental gymnastics. You were still advocating for Ozil to be reintroduced into the team as late as January 2021. You said that you wanted him to be reinstated into the team for the last last 6 months of his contract so that his fans would get a chance to see him in an arsenal shirt one last time. 😊


            1. Goonster, your credibility has reached zero.
              Never have I said I wanted Ozil to appear one last time in an Arsenal shirt.
              If you have to lie to try and prove a point, it makes you look like a sad person.

              1. Cheers Ken…this nothing burger of a poster tried to goad me into another sin bin designation when he randomly went ape on me when I questioned GAI’s opinions on some prospective Strikers, even though GAI himself admitted he had never seen the vast majority of them except in some sort of youtube video montage…he simply craves being a “fly in the ointment” yet has nothing of real substance on offer…his aversion for rational thought is further evidenced by his need to falsify facts, as you’ve clearly witnessed, and the fact that he’s emerging as a rather prolific flip-flopper…have a good one

                1. @TRVL
                  You are still mad that I called you out for attacking GAI’s personal opinion on a given player while at the same time putting your own personal opinion forward as factual and subjective?

                  1. once again, you couldn’t be more wrong…you went on some sort of unprovoked pretentious rant in the hopes of goading me into some sort of back-and-forth…I attempted to defuse the situation by apologizing, even though the poster in question personally admitted to exactly what I was propagating, but instead of simply walking away from the very situation that you had unnecessarily created, you leaned in again like a pompous clown…I have faced enough grief in recent times, due in large part to the fact that I hold an opposing view from Admin, so the last thing I need is to suffer any further consequences by engaging with a lightweight and completely uninformed poster as yourself…moving forward, keep your opinions regarding anything I offer up to yourself and I will try to do likewise

                    1. @TRVL
                      The projection in the way to comment is something to behold. 😊

                      I don’t know how long you’ve been on this site for but i will let you in on my personality. I am that type that doesn’t have the time and energy to engage in forever never ending Back and Forths on every topic on the internet like some of you. I read comments but hardly ever waste my time engaging most of the time unless there is a topic or a comment that i think I can contribute to.

                      You come across as a typical social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube comment) warrior that thinks that they have to comment on any topic even if it would have been better if you kept quiet.

                      One more time, I called you out for attacking GAI’s personal opinion while putting forward your own personal opinion as FACT. You went ahead to claim how you have more authority / knowledge on football matters than both myself and GAI combined. That comment cracked me up. Showed me that you are a very fallacious thinker. In that how can one make such a stupid juvenile claim about random people on the internet that he has never met, knows zero about them, don’t know what qualifications / CV they hold. But because you are so egotistical and have such a high opinion of yourself and your own opinion you did not think logically while making such a child level claim / comment..

                      That’s all.🤦‍♂️

                    2. “The projection in the way to comment is something to behold” WTF???

                      “You come across as a typical social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube comment) warrior that thinks that they have to comment on any topic even if it would have been better if you kept quiet” you clearly don’t know me and your intuitive powers are worth sh**

                      “I am that type that doesn’t have the time and energy to engage in forever never ending Back and Forths on every topic on the internet like some of you” you clearly don’t know yourself either!!! LOL

                      steer clear, stay in your lane and slow your roll lightweight…enough said!!

              2. @Ken
                I never said you were calling for ozil to be reintroduced in an arsenal shirt one more time. It was Dan Kit.

                You @Ken were just mad that your “shirt selling genius” was being exposed for a weasel he was.. All you used to do was go into your typical “politician semantic” kind of convolution trying to defend, make excuses and deflect on his behalf 100% of the time.
                That’s all.

  13. Literally zero point in another loan, even if he signs a new contract. Sell, unless he is part of our plans next season, AND has signed a new contract.

  14. Why all these hullabaloo about Saliba? He is under contract! He has completed his loan move to Marseille! He is an Arsenal player. Let the Coach decide. As far as I’m concerned he has to fight for a place in the first team as any other player.

    1. That’s if he actually wants to be in Arsenal under Arteta.. He can force his way out like the rest

  15. We know some players don’t have to fight for their spot. Xhaka, Ramsdale, are 2 perfect examples.
    White is a 50 million Arteta pick, no way Arteta sits him down for Saliba to start.

    I’ll apologize if he does, but after that Willian travesty where he refused to bench a woeful Willian, Xhaka never sits, even played at LB FFS.

    Managers have their preferred favorites, it’s no secret. Trust, loyalty, ego, whatever the reason some players are automatic.

    That’s why I smirk and scoff when a manager mentions “competition” and “earning a spot” it’s always just talk.

    1. Mr Man, seems you have a problem with Xhaka bn in Arsenal… I hope you get well over it because he does not know you exist at all …all your talks have always bn Arteta never bench xhaka whereas Arsene Wenger, Emery and ljunberg didn’t bench him when they were Arsenal coaches….Man, stop the hatred because xhaka care less about you

      1. Olad that’s a really arrogant thing to say. I wouldn’t give a toss about Xhaka either except that I have had to watch him destroy Arsenal’s football for something like six years. And, really he does care, always moaning and groaning about how misunderstood he has been, trying to suck out the sympathy vote. If you enjoy watching him play then you will continue to be blessed by Arteta’s laziness in not seeking better options. You’re being spoilt.

      2. My opinion is based on his productivity, leadership, and trophies/success he brought to Arsenal.

        How many games has he played in an Arsenal shirt in Champions League?

        Those managers who favored him have failed to reach CL, but that’s just coincidence aye?

        He also happens to be a linchpin in the weakest Arsenal midfield I’ve seen since invincibles, coincidence too eh?

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