Paul Merson warns William Saliba about getting into a crisis at Arsenal when he joins.
William Saliba could struggle to convince Mikel Arteta for a place in the first team next season, according to Paul Merson.
The former Arsenal star reckons that Saliba could struggle to get Arteta’s attention because he wasn’t signed by the Spaniard.
He speculates that Arteta may have made a move for Pablo Mari because he wanted to sign his own type of player.
Saliba joined Arsenal last summer but the Gunners sent him back to Saint Etienne to continue his development.
He remains an important member of the French side’s first team and was at Arsenal recuperating from injuries earlier in the season.
He reportedly impressed the club’s coaches with his physical attribute and they are looking forward to having him as part of their team.
However, Merson predicts that it may not be all sunshine and rainbows for the French teenager.
Merson said sd quoted by the Mirror: “The defence is going to take time. He’s brought two defenders in with Cedric and Pablo Mari, and he’s got William Saliba coming in from France in the summer.
“Part of me wonders whether he wanted Mari because Saliba isn’t his signing, and there could be some conflict there. But he’s made good signings.”
Mari is set to start for Arsenal in any of their next two games and if he impresses enough to earn a long term deal, Saliba would have another player to contend with at the Emirates.