Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been rather cautious when responding to questions about the future of William Saliba.
The 20-year-old has been earning rave reviews for his performances on loan at Marseille but, while Arteta said they are keeping an eye on the centre-back’s progress, he was non-committal on whether the player would be given a chance at the Emirates next season:
“I think there is room. It will depend on what happens with other players and that’s not a conversation to have now. As a club we are always in touch. Edu and Ben [Knapper] were there to watch him [against PSG] and keep a close eye on the progress he’s making.”
Needless to say, fans on Twitter weren’t particularly impressed by Arteta’s remarks, with many concerned that the Spaniard simply doesn’t rate Saliba:
Arteta has the worst talent ID in football history 👍🏻
— EtapKid 🗯 (@Etapkid) October 29, 2021
Should not depend on anyone. Saliba is more than good enough and might be an absolute massive part of our future for the next 10-15 years.
— Simon (@LeFatCentreback) October 29, 2021
Not entirely convincing but let’s see
— Roli Tshindane (@RoliTshindane) October 29, 2021
Not the resounding endorsement of the player we were hoping for. All signs point towards Arteta just not being keen on Saliba.
— Mark AFC (@BergHenryVieira) October 29, 2021
Let’s be honest. At this point would we be surprised if Saliba goes on a loan with an obligation next year. Holding and Chambers have no incentive to leave hearing statements like this. There should be absolutely no doubt at this point that Saliba is at Arsenal next season.
— Football Analyst (@Footie_Analyst) October 29, 2021
Why does it has to depend on other CB’s, clearly he is better than holding and mari combined and don’t even get started with kolasinac and chambers
— johnpaul (@rolling_vortex7) October 29, 2021
Then why the hell did we purchase him in first place?! Depends on what happens with other players? Without giving a fricking chance to saliba?!!
— Amal Joseph (@amaljoseph_og) October 29, 2021
Arteta’s attitude towards Saliba has always troubled supporters. To be fair, he wasn’t one of his signings but the fact that the defender is ripping things up in France at the moment does make a case for him to be given a chance when he returns to the Gunners next year.
The signing of Ben White did seem to suggest that Arteta doesn’t have a place for Saliba as a first-team regular but we shall see how things develop over the next twelve months.