Mikel Arteta provides fresh insight into William Saliba’s Arsenal future
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has, on Friday, spoken out over the prospect of William Saliba returning to play a role in his setup in north London.
Gifted stopper Saliba is of course currently in the midst of his third successive loan spell away from the Emirates.
Despite having been signed in the summer of 2019 amid widespread fanfare, the 20-year-old is yet to convince those in a position of power at his parent club of his readiness to feature on a consistent basis in the Premier League.
In turn, after returning from an altogether impressive spell with OGC Nice over the 2nd half of last season, it was decided during the summer that yet another move back to his home country would benefit Saliba best over the campaign ahead.
The Frenchman linked up with Ligue 1 heavyweights Olympique Marseille, and has since not looked back.
Saliba has been widely lauded for his efforts at the heart of OM’s backline over the early months of the term, displaying a complete repertoire of ability in the tackle, explosive athleticism and composure in possession.
All told, he has been afforded starts in all but one of the club’s league fixtures, helping Marseille to a top-4 berth as things stand.
‘Keep a close eye…’
In turn, with the showing of his on-loan talent up against the might of Paris Saint-Germain last weekend having turned heads across the continent, it came as little surprise when, this afternoon, Mikel Arteta was drawn on the subject of Saliba’s Arsenal future.
The Gunners of course already boast a wealth of options at centre-half, with the big-money arrival of Ben White during the summer having led to suggestions that Saliba may not feature in the plans of his parent club moving forward.
Arteta, however, was keen to play down such concerns.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League meeting with Leicester City on Saturday, the Spaniard first confirmed that both loan manager Ben Knapper and technical director Edu are keeping ‘a close eye’ on the progress of their up-and-coming stopper:
‘As a club we are always in touch.’
‘Edu and Ben were there to watch him and keep a close eye on the progress he’s making.’
From here, significantly, Arteta went on to add that he feels there ‘is room’ for Saliba in his long-term plans:
‘I think there is room. It will depend on what happens with other players and that’s not a conversation to have now.’
Mikel Arteta delivers honest verdict on William Saliba’s future at Arsenal.https://t.co/P3Ub7eb1x5
— football.london (@Football_LDN) October 29, 2021
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