The difficulty Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding job with Arsenal is evident in the William Saliba case

0
147

William Saliba is a regular player and has caught the attention at Marseille. The young Arsenal loanee will soon need to be addressed by Mikel Arteta

Video Loading

Video unavailable

Mikel Arteta looks ahead to the Leicester City clash

Arsenal fans consider William Saliba to be a weird character. He has never played for the club’s first team – and yet is still positioned with some as The Great Hope.

Saliba was signed from Saint-Etienne in a £27million deal in the summer of 2019, but has spent the following few years on loan in his native France – first with Saint-Etienne, then Nice and now with Marseille.

He is a promising centre-back at 20 years old. It’s just he has never shown that promise in an Arsenal shirt.

That distance has a mysterious effect. Fans can of course watch Marseille’s Ligue 1 matches to draw their own conclusions, but generally their opinions are moulded by the online social media hype machine.

A few clips from a last-ditch tackle. Amazing statistics about a specific game. You will find some quotes from him about his progress every now and again.

They all contribute to building an opinion. And there is no doubt that Saliba’s performances are worthy of some attention right now.

Although Arsenal have turned things around following their poor start to the season and are eight games unbeaten, there is always going to be a yearning for what the team doesn’t have.

Yes, Ben White is beginning to form a partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes. But did you see Saliba’s performance against Paris Saint-Germain last week – one he described post-match as “the best match of my career”What is the best way to get started?

Mikel Arteta did. Arteta also revealed that Arsenal’s sporting director Edu was present in person at the press conference on Friday, ahead of his trip to Leicester.

So, given his efforts in keeping Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar quiet in a 0-0 draw, does Arsenal’s manager think they made the right decision in loaning Saliba out once again?

“Everything is linked,”He explained. “The amount of centre backs that we had in the team, the issues that we had in the past because of the numbers that we had and the imbalance that we had in that position and because of William’s decision in his career right now to make the minutes that he’s making and the progress that he’s making. We believe it was the right thing to do.”

Arsenal: What should Arsenal do about William Saliba’s death? Comment below to have your say.

This could be true. The decision is a sign of just how difficult rebuilding can be.

Arsenal took the decision to spend £50m on White and because of that they had to loan out their promising – and expensive – youngster yet again.

The dream scenario is that Arsenal’s defence finds its feet, Saliba has a brilliant campaign at Marseille and then returns to the Gunners next summer a ready-made star. Arteta hopes that this will happen.

“That’s a decision that we will make next summer,”He stated. “He’s our player and naturally that will happen. We’ll have to sit down and decide what the best next step is.”

Arsenal has reportedly been reported to have It was ruled out that Saliba would return.It was fair to send them to the Emirates in January. Saliba is keen to play, and he is playing with Marseille. He has started every match in their Ligue 1 league this season.

However, it is possible that Saliba may not get the chance to play and grow his game. There is a chance Saliba gets a taste of first team football and doesn’t want to fight for his place at Arsenal.

Marseille does not have the option to sign Saliba this summer in their loan agreement, but other clubs may.

Silver Screen Beat claims that the centre-back is reluctant to return to north London, showing the double-edged sword of Arsenal’s approach.

Arteta won’t be losing sleep over the situation. He will instead be focusing on Saturday’s visit to King Power Stadium, where he will face Leicester.

But each game Saliba plays makes it more likely that the young French defender will not be a part of Arteta’s ongoing efforts to rebuild at Arsenal.