Will William Saliba ever play for Arsenal?

This has been one of Arsenal’s strangest signings ever. William Saliba did not come cheap when Arsenal signed him from St. Etienne 18 months ago and he was supposed to be the mainstay of our future Arsenal defence.

He came highly recommended and was tipped to be a star of the future, and we were all happy that he chose to join us ahead of Tottenham. This is what the Arsenal coach Emery said at the time: “We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future,”

“He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group.”

So what went so wrong?

Although the youngster spent the whole summer training with Mikel Arteta, the boss was so unimpressed that he didn’t even give him a spot in our Europa League squad, which could have eased him into the team with some easy games.

Saliba was then offered out on loan, and that also fell through, with St Etienne being particularly upset that Arsenal didn’t follow through with an agreement to loan him back again. So basically he has been stuck with the U21’s.

Just six weeks ago, Arteta was asked when Saliba could ever get a game, and he replied: “Whenever we have the spaces and we believe that he’s ready to play with us. To be fair, he’s made massive improvements in the last few months and it’s been a really tricky situation for him.

“As I mentioned before, we designed a pathway for him and there were a lot of things that happened to him in his personal life and professionally as well. Now we’ve made some steps forward, he’s working really hard and played for the under-21s again.”

So it sounded like there was progress being made, but it now appears that Arteta still doesn’t want him in his squad, and the latest reports say that we would even consider selling him in January….

This is very strange, and doesn’t make our recruitment team look good. We spent 72m on Pepe who can hardly get a game, and 27m on Saliba who may never play for us. That is a hell of a lot of money being wasted right there. Surely we couldn’t even get half that back if we sold them right now…

Tags Arteta Saliba


  1. And yet folks will keep saying that Kroenke is stingy. Truth is that Arsenal board has wasted serious money in the transfer market since 2018. Pepe, Torreira, Socrates, and now Saliba make almost 150M pounds wasted.

    1. Hes never spent a penny out of his own pocket since he took over, all profit and charges the highest ticket prices in Europe while spending billions out of his own pocket for his american sports teams, so on the arsenal front, yes he is stingy.

          1. Actually, we DO NOT have the most expensive season tickets in Europe – I did a survey many months ago for Just Arsenal that proved this, but let the myth continue.

            As for Salibas, I can see MA finding room for him, if the rumoured moves materialise for Sokratis and Mustafi.
            He can, I believe, play in the FA cup… if I’m correct, that might be when MA bloods him?

          2. @ken fair enough maybe not of as a few months ago but for a long time we definitely did, and there still one of the most expensive.

      1. I think Kroenke put the money up for Partey. It may not have come out of his own pocket but he found funding when it was required as I expect him to continue to do even though some of our biggest fee/paid players have flopped.

        1. Ken1945 Arteta will sell Saliba because he did not buy him and Edu is trying to get more Brazilians into Arsenal WHY?

  2. Saliba is not fancied by Arteta, not saying he is wrong, it may turn out he is right but this is one of the strangest situations we have had at Arsenal. He is rated and was rated very highly by many judges but not by Arteta. Its strange he hasn’t played just to see what he can do in some of the lesser EL and Carabao cup games. At least then the fans can judge for themselves, if he is a dud.

    1. My exact take. The way Arteta is treating the kid makes me uncomfortable.
      Why not give the boy at least one chance in the first team? Give him a try like you did with the likes of Willian, Elneny, etc.

      We were all excited about seeing Saliba play from the moment Arsenal signed him and loaned him.

      It is so strange the wat Arteta has just absolutely discarded him without even giving him a try in the first team. The boys confidence must be shot at the moment.

      1. Saliba is not Arteta’s misplaced investment, while Willian very much is so. That’s why Willian will get all the game time in the world while Saliba will be shown the door.

        I am more and more certain that Arteta has some serious ego problems and won’t last much longer at the club if he keeps it up.

        Double standards are painfully obvious: Willian, Xhaka, Bellerin, Auba vs Saliba, ESR, and AMN.

        Ainsley makes one mistake – eternity on the bench. Willian literally is the worst attacking player in the Prem – give him another chance. Xhaka plays one good game in 20 horrible ones – everything’s forgiven.

        The squad selection for tonight will tell us EVERYTHING we need to know about Arteta.

        1. @ top 4 trophy You use willian as your first example because MA bought him but then you say

          “Double standards are painfully obvious: Willian, Xhaka, Bellerin, Auba vs Saliba, ESR, and AMN.”

          What double standards!? The only player in that list he bought is willian lol, and he clearly opted for experience vs youth lol the first 4 have much more pl experience than the last 3, so I don’t understand what is double standard about that.

    2. I think Arteta don’t want to use Saliba because he was signed by Emery and that is really sad, Saliba is a good defender believe me, I follow French football as well and believe me this young boy is much, much better than Fofana who ironically makes it in Leicester’s first team, Arteta is straight up lying saying he is not ready to play for us, he is much better than Holding, which I like, Mustafi, Mari, Chambers, I would place him on a even foot with Gabriel if not better, I think Arteta don’t like players who questions him, but he is gona have to get use to it fast if he want a career in football coaching/management cause every soccer player has an opinion especially if they young , but we cannot throw away talent like this just to make a statement

      1. I fully agree. I think he’s an Henry with better hair, when it comes to coaching. Vanity can destroy careers and it’s increasingly likely to destroy Mikel’s.

    1. Saliba was seen as a greater prospect than Forfanna and the latter is playing regularly in the prem.

      1. Good point Reggie.

        Edu needs to step up & inform Arteta that THE CLUB has plans for Saliba & Arteta needs to get on board and give him opportunities.

        Otherwise fire Edu for wasting £30 million and not doing his job. He saw something to spend that on 18 yr old, and if Edu is so easily swayed, then he shouldn’t be in that management position.

        Lastly, Arteta is hardly convincing when deciding who is “ready”. For example, Nketiah is looking like Sanogoal and getting outplayed by Balogun in Europa, yet Balogun can’t get a sniff in premier league.

        Willock wastes his chances, yet it took this long for ESR to play? Slightly different positions, but which midfielder looks more “ready” to you?

        Saliba can’t get a sniff, but Mustafi gets chances occasionally?

        Edu should remind Arteta PART OF HIS JOB is to develop youngsters like Saliba, so get onboard and sharpen him & prepare him to partner Gabriel for the next decade.

  3. Arsenal have surely learned their lessons after their scouts’ failures. Saliba should’ve be given more chances, but I bet Arteta has his own criteria to evaluate a CB

    Wenger said he trusted an older CB more than the young one, although the older CB is less talented than the youngster. Despite the trust issue, Wenger mentioned he still had to give some chances to the young CBs

    I feel Arteta is a bit conservative when it comes to player selection and Saliba’s entourage might not want to waste Saliba’s time in loans. A young CB would likely make mistakes due to lack of experience, but he should’ve gotten his chance in small cup games

  4. Change of managership and football director means a likely change in who they don’t rate. I know nothing of Salibas abilities but right now it is plain that MA does not rate him. Not did he bring him here. SO MA IS NOT TO BLAME.

    Same situation with lazy Pepe and who can argue against MA’s very limited use of him. I would NEVER play lazy players at all, unless for an acute run of injuries , as I SEE NO POINT IN LAZY PLAYERS EVER WEARING OUR SHIRT.
    There are certain fans on here who refuse to admit, even to themselves privately, that certain players ARE lazy. With those myopic fans there is little point in discussing it, as they will always defy reality.

    1. I understand when you speak about laziness.
      But at least all these other lazy players, Ozil, Pepe, Willian, Auba etc have all been given a chance in the first team to prove themselves.

      Why not Saliba? Give the kid a chance and then you will not have to keep answering questions. All the other lazy players have had chance after chance while Saliba not even 1 chance in the first team.

    2. Jon are you saying Saliba is lazy, have you seen the boy play a full game. Saliba is not in the squad for non football reasons, we don’t have another 19yr old at the club, with this boy’s talent not ability talent go watch some of his past games and we can talk, Arteta is making crazy weird decisions with the players, that goes beyond logic, tell me this, even if Saliba, is not in his plans isn’t it better to play him so we, the club can at least sell him on for a profit, but as things stand we will be lucky if we get what we paid for him and this is one of the reasons I don’t rate Arteta, he will rather let a big big talent leave and have the club loose money to proof a sick stupid point

      1. “we don’t have another 19yr old at the club, with this boy’s talent not ability talent”

        Umm saka!?!

      2. @Mike- you see Mike this is the issue with Jon (Captain Mainwaring). Fox. He spouts off continually about how every player he doesn’t rate is Lazy, while he hero worships his love child Arteta, who is the manager who plays these players.
        Captain Mainwaring doesn’t go to watch Arsenal. He talks as though he knows it all,but he dosent even go to watch matches.He simply sits at home wearing his tin hat gibbing off as though his opinion is the only one that matters. Yet when he is called outfit his very many clear errors he has not the football brain or the sense to answer. He simply slithers off back to his bunker.
        A big fan of the late, great George Armstrong,Foxy will be playing with himself every night remembering how every game Geordie covered every blade of grass on the pitch and run himself into the ground for Arsenal. Yet the same Foxy berated Theo Walcott with the weedy Walcott handle, a player whose goals snd assists far outweigh anything George Armstrong was able to offer. So who would most fans prefer? I would believe 99.99% would wish to have players in the team that delivered, not just run themselves into the ground for the cause. There is a lot lot more to the game than simply running about Captain Mainwaring. Try actually watching a game sometime and you migh one day realise this

      3. MIKE, IF YOU READ MY ACTUAL WORDS YOU WILL SEE I said I know nothing about Salibas abilities That is not calling him lazy, is it! Neither of us knows the depth of his reported personal problems, as we are not in the know. MA does know and sees him daily.

        Neither you nor I know he is worth a place but unlike you, I will support the clubs choice of manager, who has made the decision thus far. I do not flatter myself I know more than MA. SOME OTHERS PLAINLY DO!

        1. Jon I played the game I coached the game and I am still watching and studying the game longer than Arteta is alive, I don’t pretend to know everything about the game and as I stated many times before I support Arsenal Fc and not Arteta Fc and to be honest my main reason is simple, Arteta confuses me on all things football, but each to their own fellow gooner

          1. I agree Mike, many of Arteta’s decisions are puzzling. It’s fair to question & criticize when we have sputtered our way into 13th place.

            My previous comment above questions some decisions by Arteta; fairly I would say. Enough people in the club saw enough of Saliba to spend that money knowing he will go on loan.

            An inexperienced managed struggling in the league, and showing no philosophy or style of play should not be trusted with that decision yet.

            Edu should do his job, inform Arteta who is in management and in charge of those decisions.

            Otherwise, if Edu spent that money, never played Saliba, and is so willing to let him leave, that screams mismanagement and ineptitude.

          2. MIKE Well well done and I do respect your pedigree in the game. But that is a separate point!
            All the point I make is that we , none of us, know what problems SALIBA has, as we are not there but MA is and so does know. He is our manager , not you nor I, and as fans we should support his judgement, esp as we are not in possession of all the facts That seems to me a very reasonable position for me to take and to support.

  5. I think emery will feel a bit stupid as that buy took away 27 Mio from his budget, which was pretty lot for a player who came after the sack and now he isn’t even used

    1. Krish go do yourself a favour and find old games this lad played in, not YouTube and then judge for yourself, alot of fans only watch Arsenal’s games, others like myself watch, French, German, Spanish, South American and African football to name a few, so we see and get familiar with alot of players outside the Premier League

    2. You actually think Emery, who is now doing well elsewhere, gives a damn after the way our fans treated him ? That 27m won’t be worrying him now one little bit I can assure you.

  6. I don’t know what Arteta is doing with Saliba.
    I am not happy about thr situation.
    Give the kid a chance to prove himself first. Won’t even give him first team Match to assess him.

    I am not happy about the Saliba treatment.

  7. I don’t care what anyone says but this is on arteta, why not give the boy a chance. He can’t be worse than what we have presently.

    1. we have enough cb right now in our squad and majority of them have been proven ok, ahead of Saliba, he should go on loan till end of season to stabilize his, situation from last season, then come back to fight his place with the rest.
      we still have a young cb like him on loan in germany doing same but because he was bought at a low price everyone seems to have forgotten him

      1. Luiz and Mustafi will depart in the summer… so yes for him to come back with minutes under his belt would be great…
        Mavropanos… he’s very injury prone!! Shame, as a lot of potential there..

  8. Something very strange about the Saliba situation. Rave reviews in the French league (ok, poor league) but we give time to Mustafi or play Tierney and Kolasinac in central defence. Something doesn’t add up.

  9. i bet before Saliba signing, majority of us dont even know the name, but because of the price we paid we were forced to convince ourself he imust be a very good player.

    my take on the whole scenario, Saliba is a young player who, if follow the plan of the coach, will play for us in the nearest future. fans expectations alone are enough to destroy the boy if he is thrown straight into the team, and with his current situation, none of us can say he is better than what we presently have, at least since he has started playing with the u-21, how many man of the match performances has he had? no matter how we look at it, he should be heads above others in the u-21 championship and by now various big teams should be circuling for his signature

    1. adajim I remember a certain Gnabry who, was not deemed good enough for us, we practically gave him away, now fans would bite your hand off if he was offered to us.

  10. Who is really Mikel Arteta and Edu? Arteta had not met the criteria to manage a big club like Arsenal because of his inexperience, yet, he was trusted and given this opportunity. According Wenger, he was surprised Arteta got the job, as he had not gone through his ten years of transition and learning experience in the lower leagues with maller teams before. As, l have said before, Arteta’s bias against the players Arsenal bought under Emery reign is blatant, excluding Luis and Martinelli (Brazilians like his boss Edu). It just unbelievably that Saliba, who, started for St Ettienne cannot get a minute of play time at Arsenal, while Fofana ,who, was on the bench there, now starts for Leicester. Losing one of Europe’s brightest talents without giving him an opportunity to play is a crime that is unforgiving. This discrimination is totally unacceptable,especially, considering the quality of the defenders at Arsenal. Arsenal have not learned from the experiences of Gnabry, Donyell, Bennacer and others. Selling Saliba will be another big mistake that Arsenal will regret in the not too distant future. Arteta needs to understand that although unqualified, he has been given an opportunity at Arsenal that he must now give to Saliba. As for Edu his incompetence and poor negotiations skills ,coupled with his arrogance and conflicts of interest doesn’t bode well for good working relationship with others. He should be sacked asap in this transfer window. If not, this transfer window will be another failure for Arsenal as the area of need (creative midfielder) will not be addressed to strengthen the team.

    1. Well said. The lad was rated among the brightest talents in Europe when we signed him. Yet the Guardiola wannabe just wants Arsenal to flush 27M worth of talent down the drain without being given a chance to prove himself.

  11. Bloody play the lad. Rave reviews everywhere bar Arsenal who have a tendency to sell young players at a small price without ever really giving them a go in the 1st team for them to become stars somewhere else because our management team are biased in every way and apparently know what’s best for the club.

    Dead on!

    Let Mustafi, Papa and Chambers go now in Jan, bring in Saliba and see what happens. Luiz gone in the summer maybe the o ly thing that could make me suggest a 6month loan to return in the summer along with Mavraponas & Guendouzi (who has been made a scapegoat tbh & isnt right, again lad has bags of talent) and see where are because we will be short come the summer in CBs, plus depending where we finish in the table will we only able to know what we can buy. At this rate alot of players wont want to come.

    Add Willian & Torriera to go in the summer, what a waste of 200k a week, plus whatever millions In sign on bonuses.

    We have wasted so much money its ludacris that all these jumped up men in suits running this a business have mo bloody clue how to run a football club smartly.

    Rant over. Let’s beat West Brom tonight!

  12. I don’t feel comfortable him getting experience in France. In France football is a lot slower. It’s very different to the Premier League which is faster and playing conditions is tougher.

    I’d prefer him over here

  13. Who bought that kid Saliba then! Was it by any chance Emery! That being so , why should MA be blamed if he does not want another managers choice ofplayer in his team!


    1. there are surely different ways of building a midfield other than around these two slovenly clowns … torreira natland miles ceballos (or add saka to play 4 across the middle) would for example provide a more mobile midfield but arteta never tried it … for me there is something wrong with his vision of football given his resort to this failed combo at the first opportunity … i know, much to my chagrin, he will be here til seasons end but there has to be some benchmark to determine whether he stays or goes

    2. he’s played mustafi over saliba. He didnt even register Saliba for Europa. that’s just bad squad management and is a failure on him and his team. To cast out an 18 year old for half a season for really no reason. The club spent 30mill on him. And hes a rooke manager. His opinion on the player doesnt mean anything. We have a bad defense and bought a highly rated 18 year old that he wont even give a chance to. Because of Mustafi who will be gone in months…

  14. I see a lot of people talking about why Saliba isn’t playing and how arteta is crap or egomaniac enough to not use him. But do any of us actually know how the lad is mentally and physically? He could be depressed or just coming out of depression due to his personal issues which suprise suprise also affect our fitness level and playing him in our horrible patch with everybody on edge and confidence low would be like sending him to get slaughtered.

  15. Am very surprise no one seems to understand the Saliba situation, the guy is raw talent but some where along the line he had shown the gaffer disrespect am prepare to bet my entire year salary on that and i suspect he link up with the unruly Guendoezi and make matters worst he may not like the treatment he came and saw Guendouzi getting and show it, now here is where we need wenger as both are very good prospect

  16. If we loan out this Saliba youngster say to a club like Fulham , am betting in a year his value will double , please let good sense prevail, dont let this be another Garnby, Artteta will be a very good coach in the future but a think he needs help with both these kids have wenger as the ultimate French man assist

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