William Saliba is expected to remain with the Arsenal club for the next season, according to Mikel Arteta, the manager of the Arsenal team, despite persistent rumours to the contrary. After spending some time on loan at Marseille, Saliba’s long-term prospects have been called into question.
The Frenchman has often hinted that he would want to play for Marseille again next season. Last week, RMC Sport claimed that Saliba had expressed his wish to return to the Ligue 1 squad for whom he previously played.
However, Arteta said in an interview with the same news organization that this is not the case. The strategy has never altered, according to Arteta, and the 21-year-old is anticipated to return this summer and be a part of the club in the future.
The Gunners boss said: “He has to come back. He has the experience and the environment necessary to be competitive with us.”
Arteta is firm in his belief that loaning Saliba out for the third time was a wise decision. He feels the central defender will be in a lot stronger position next season than if he had stayed at the Emirates.
Arteta added: “If he had stayed with us this year, with a match of Premier League a week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure. For his growth and what he can do next season that wouldn’t have been good.
“William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”
Despite signing for Arsenal, Saliba has yet to make an appearance for the first team. He joined the club from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for a fee of 27 million pounds.
He was instantly loaned back to the French team for the next season when the trade was completed. Saliba stayed with the Gunners for the first half of the next season, although he was not picked for any match-day squads under new boss Arteta.
He went on to enjoy a fantastic amount of success with Marseille after spending some time on loan at Nice. Saliba made his first two appearances for the national France squad earlier this year, and Didier Deschamps has chosen him once again for France’s next Nations League fixtures.