What is the point of sending William Saliba back to France?

Nice move is the wrong one for Saliba! (Opinion)

William Saliba has finally been relieved of his Arsenal torture, having joined us in the summer on a long awaited transfer and after not even being close to donning an Arsenal shirt, Arteta has sent him out on loan where he will join up with Nice for the rest of the season.

I believe that this is actually the wrong move for Saliba and I’ll tell you why!

Arteta has stressed continuously that Saliba is not ready for football in England yet, and so to get him ready for that he sends him back to France to get game time, all well and good but it won’t help when he comes back to us at the end of his loan spell.


Saliba didn’t play one game for the first team, and I always believe that if a player doesn’t play then he can’t be judged on if he is ready or not, so how Arteta came to the conclusion that Saliba was not ready is beyond me because nobody was witness to his game playing.

If Arteta was witness to an attitude issue in training then I wish he would just come out and be honest, because saying he is not ready for English football is actually a bit patronising!

Saliba needs game time in England to become accustomed to the conditions and pace of the game, he won’t get that in France. If he wasn’t ready upon his first arrival from France then he definitely won’t be ready after the second arrival. I hope this is one move that Arteta does get right though, because I would hate for him to have egg on his face yet again!

I wish Saliba all the best on his loan spell and hopefully when and if he actually does return to Arsenal, he will finally break in to the first team and show us fans why he was so sought after in the first place!

Shenel Osman

Tags Nice Saliba


  1. You took the words right out of my mouth, you couldn’t have said it any better. I am not against Arteta but some of his decisions have been suspect, why send Saliba back to France if you want him to settle into English football, wouldn’t it have made sense to send him on loan to a club in the championship.

    1. That’s totally right. He won’t be better if you keep sending him to the same league that you believe he can be a “better player” at. Keep him closer.

  2. Saliba was sentvback to France for more than footballing reasons …….I don’t think Arteta and the arsenal coaches were worried about his talent. IMO he is suffering from the loss of his parents……he needs to be closer to home to deal with the loss ……putting him in a game was not an option then because of his mental state……I would be surprised if it was done with his doctors ……hopefully it helps him move on and return a complete player for Arsenal

    1. Well put. Every time someone ask this question people seem to forget what has been through. Young lad, loss his parents and in a new xountry. Sending him on loan back to france gives him game time as well as being in his home Country. Makes perfect sense to me. How some cant grasp that is beyond me.

      1. True but like I said if it was MA and the club biggest concern they would have loaned him back to St-Etienne his old club who were desperate to have him back& where he would have played a lot of football for sure still full of players staff he knows very well played with not to a new club !

    2. If MA feel that way then why beat around the bush and tell the press WS is not ready because he didn’t have transition year? Losing his parents is nothing shameful. Why can’t MA just say it like it is?

      Do WS agree with the young boy, new country, loss of his parents story that some people keep saying about him? If he agree then he should be happy and appreciate it instead of saying he’s also locked up like MG.

      Why tell him how he should feel and he should go on loan back to France when he want to play for Arsenal more than going back to France on loan?

  3. Totally agree admin, it just seems absurd that we signed him a year and a half ago and know one has seen him play, he could of at least give him a run out in league cup games, he can’t be any worse than mustafi who’s been here a number of years now its also the same with mavrapanos, defo our recruitment is not up to scratch then

  4. The biggest knock on MA is his lack of experience handling players. He come with Arsenal armed with Guardiola’s my way or the highway attitude and lack of flexibility.

    Hopefully that will change soon.

    1. I agree MA might have learnt a lot from Pep but he also picked up some bad habits like reluctance to play younger players, overcomplicated tactics amongst other things!

    2. These are attributes of good respected coaches/managers as they get fired first, while the players are insulated against all punishments and get immune to laxity and dereliction of duty to club and fans. Just ask Ozil, Socrates, Kolasinac and they will give you the answers. I’d take 17th spot with young hungry players getting to play together rather than go down to the championship with a useless bunch of over paid actors.

    3. Well Guardiola’s my way or the highway has got him about 30 trophies including two champions leagues. If Arteta’s/ guardiola way as you put it can finally give Arsenal the champions league or even premier league, then so be it… The style is welcome, no player is bigger than the manager except it’s messi or ronaldo

  5. Very good argument you’ve made there about sending him back to France. To think we were eagerly waiting for Saliba to be the pillar of our defense.

    We are doing okay but hope he will get his chance to shine.

  6. You fans complain about everything. Saliba is 19 years old, lost his mom last year, was injured for a while too and Ligue 1 ended abruptly too also last year. He trains with the first team and if the manager says he’s not ready then we have to take his word for it.
    I guess that’s not enough for the fans right, we all have to see him play and make a few mistakes then berate him on social media for being average before we accept that he’s not ready. Pathetic. He needs competitive games and getting those also close to home isn’t a bad idea.
    Great players hit the ground running wherever they go. When Saliba is ready, he will do same.

  7. The Saliba situation doesn’t make any sense to me,keeping /loaning him in the UK would have been the best solution if he wasn’t going to be registered with us for the 2nd half of the season for God sake had they loaned him back to St-Etienne I might even understood ,the lad going back to his old club surrounded by close staff & friends a strong support network and no doubt he would have played a lot even if Arsenal relationship with St-Etienne had deteriorated this was the perfect opportunity to mend it with them so desperate to have the player back we would have been in a strong bargaining position and had them to agree to our demands concerning a specific training program for him,he is an Arsenal player and I thought his welfare was paramount to us well these actions are telling a different story now he’s going to Nice a new club new team at he will have to gel and get into the team all this in 6 months I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends not playing much or getting injured again lastly with his English not being the best he’ll be back speaking French all the time,can someone tell me please if I’m missing something!

  8. My instincts are that Saliba has unresolved personal and emotional problems linked to his unfortunate loss of his mother and not helped by his reported difficulties with English language.

    That is a lot for a 19 year to cope with and all my instincts scream out to me that this is at least a large part of the reason he may go back to his own country on loan. I also think that unless we know the facts for certain, then a final judgement is unwise and probably unfair too.

    Of course we are allowed our opinions and the above is mine. Whether he will eventually return and become a regular in our shirt seems to me to be very doubtful but I do not blame either him nor MA for matters outside their own direct control.

      1. SIAMOIS I have already read it but just do not agree with your comments, in the main. The crucial difference for him, in his present state of mind, imo, is England against France, not Nice against St Etienne.

        That matters not though , as we are here to give our own opinions, irrespective of what others think. Sometimes we will agree with many others, sometimes with only a few, occasionally with no one.

        This is free speech and we are fortunate to live in a part of the free world where it is allowed and I never forget that privilege, which we all share and that so many unfortunate people are denied, as tyrants run their country.

        Let us all count our blessings, even at this bleak time. It is so much more bleak for billions of poor souls elsewhere who have not the freedom we have, to agree or disagree.

    1. I agree, and it’s even surprising that most fans are dragging Arteta for not playing Saliba, most fans haven’t even seen him play except some YouTube videos, and moreover Emery signed him, his attributes might be right for Emery but not right for Arteta, all clubs have players they made mistakes with, Saliba won’t be the first even if he goes on to become great.

  9. Happy New Year to all Gooners.

    I agree with Jon Fox.

    This decision is more than his development for Arsenal FC.

    I think realistically, he would need a loan in France and then a loan in the Championship (assuming we are not in it) or a newly promoted team next year to find his feet before using him may in Jan 2022 or Sep 2022.

    I say all these things with words like assuming and Hope just not to jinx our good post Xmas performances & results SO FAR.

    1. Nice post IGL. I am, though, curious. Do you REALLY believe in being able to JINX, or, is it just an expression of speech? THE LATTER I CAN EASILY UNDERSTAND BUT NOT THE FORMER.

  10. I think there is an indication of his mental state in the tweet from his mate Fofana who says he is ‘free’ from Arsenal. He has watched what has happened to Guendozi and I wonder if this will all have permanently soured his attitude to our club. Regardless of the playing situation, if he doesn’t want to be here then there’s no point keeping him. I hope I’m wrong.

  11. To some Gooners on here who do not see why MA has let him leave (let him , not made him, please note!)I say this: In my opinion the humane and totally decent manager called Arsene Wenger ,put in the same position as MA would have done exactly the same.
    Quite rightly, both those fine men wouldhave put the mental and physical well being of a young andvulnerable man before the duty to their club. There are times , when dealing with older, non vulnerable players when that would not be the right thing to do. BUT in this case and IMO, it is definitely the right thing to have done and I for one will applaud MA for doing the principled thing . Some will not see this but I can do nothing for them except explain what I think is the reason for this action taken, as I do here.

    1. How do you know WS prefer to leave and MA is giving him his wish?

      His “locked up” comment on IG show that he feel he has not been given a chance and is frozen out like MG. He want to be a part of the team and is unhappy MA is not giving him a chance. His only choice is to leave if he want to play.

      If he is vulnerable and want to leave, he should be grateful MA is not making him play when he is not ready to. Why should he be unhappy and take a dig at MA with the “locked out” comment?

      Don’t assume WS is young and vulnerable. That’s like people assuming Saka, ESR and GM are too young to take the weight of fans expecting them to be the answer of our problems.

      1. Cph Easy answer to a rather needless question. It is called perceptiveness and what aids that tremendously is having a thorough understanding of human nature and a knowledge that younger, vulnerable men in countries where they do not speak the language , have lost parents and are under tremendous pressure, are BOUND to want to be where they feel safe and mentally secure, ie in their home country.
        It has been constantly and very widely reported that he is not happy here – and perhaps not being picked to play in the first team is a large part of that, though perhaps not, as none of us knows for certain. He possible knows, even himself, that he is not yet ready and may resent others for him not being ready. That would be a common thing for a 19 year old under pressure to do.

        But what all REAL Gooners who keep up with events DO know is that he is not ready to play in our first team and wants to go home. THAT is why I am sure of what I wrote in my above post. Be assured that whatever I write,at least when in serious vein, has always been thoroughly thought through first.
        As to what that “locked up” comment, vulnerable and mentally unsure young men say all sorts of things, sometimes without deep thought or justification of truth. THAT IS ALSO HOW MANY YOUNG PEOPLE REACT, and is perfectly normal.

        That comment is also further evidence why mentally he is not ready to play in our first team, though he is not to be blamed for that comment, as it is understandable.

        But nor is our manager to blame, as he is paid to make decisions and in his view – and in mine, for the little mine is worth – it is the correct decision for him to go home for the time being . Possibly permanently, possibly not. What will happen to him in the longer term future remains to be seen.

        1. All REAL Gooners who keep up with events DO know that WS has never once say that he want to go home. There is no quote or post from him that he say he want to go home. People say he want to go home but WS himself never say that.

          Never mind. Like you say, ”none of us know for certain”. I agree and thank you for trying to explain. I can see your point of view.

  12. If it is for personal reasons and Edu has claimed he has a big future at Arsenal then he needs to be with his family especially though thsee darks times with covid for alot of families.

    Football comes 3rd to mental health & Family every day of the week.

    He has been unlucky with injuries so any game time is good time for him to get a groove of playing then back for pre season I am hoping along with Matteo who is burning up Berlin..

    Mavraponas another who may still have a future at Arsenal once all the big boys go. Saliba just isnt ready yet and that’s because it’s too much too soon for such a young lad to have went through what he has gone through with loss of his mother, injuries and new team & country to which he doesnt speak or know anything about.

    Makes sense to get his head screwed on to go back to home surroundings and play again to be ready for such a big move again back to Arsenal where he knows he will be needed. There is a reason we bought him and Edu & Mikel have both stated hes got a future.

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