William Saliba has been too impressive on loan this season to be left out of the Arsenal team for the next campaign.
The Frenchman is doing very well at Olympique Marseille, where he is playing on loan and it is hard to ignore the progress he has made in his development this season.
In his absence, Arsenal has signed Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes who have formed a solid partnership at the back for the Gunners.
It would be hard for him to bench either of them when he returns, but that doesn’t have to be the case and former Arsenal star, Kevin Campbell hints that the solution could be a back-three with all of them starting.
Speaking about Saliba’s recent fine performance against PSG, Campbell was very impressed at his progress and remains confident that the defender has matured enough to shine at Arsenal next season.
Campbell said to Football Insider: “It was very exciting.
“The fact of the matter is, it was a really smart decision to send him to Marseille on loan. Mikel Arteta has said that he has a big future at Arsenal. He wants him to be ready though. You can see that he is getting ready.
“His performances have been phenomenal. I cannot wait to see him come back, I really can’t.
“He used to be a midfielder, so he’s very good on the ball. He is also quick and imposing.
“I’m looking at it and I’m thinking Mikel Arteta will go with a back three next season. Ben White, Gabriel [Magalhaes] and Saliba in a back three. That would be something special at the back.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
We have done well with a back-four, especially considering that Takehiro Tomiyasu is a defence-minded full-back.
But a back-three formation with wingbacks is also an effective way to set up a team if you get it right.
Instead of allowing Saliba to wallow on the bench or to send him out on loan again, Mikel Arteta can change his system to accommodate the Frenchman.
Better still, the Spaniard can make the competition for a place in the team open and that could see Saliba play ahead of the likes of White or Gabriel if he impresses in training.
Whichever way the manager uses Saliba next season, the prospect of watching finally play for Arsenal is an exciting one.