Transfers – William Saliba is closely followed by Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach: « There is room for him »


Facing the Messi-Mbappé-Neymar trio, William Saliba made a perfect copy last Sunday during the OM-PSG match (0-0). A very successful service which did not only appeal to French observers. In a press conference this Friday, two days before Watford’s reception in the Premier League, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach, recalled that the ex-Stéphanois’ meetings were closely followed while opening the door to him for next season.
« We are in constant contact with him. Edu (editor’s note: the sports director) and Ben Knapper (the loan officer) were at the match against PSG to observe it and keep in touch, said the Gunners coach of the 20-year-old defender on loan without an option to buy last summer at OM. He continues to do what he has to do, which is to play a lot of games and be good. There is room for him with us. It will all depend on the future of other players but it’s not a conversation to have now. It’s a decision we’ll make this summer. « 

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Bought by Arsenal in July 2019 for some 30 million euros, William Saliba has not played a single minute in the Premier League. Loaned to Nice at the end of last season, the native of Bondy had expressed his annoyance when the question of his playing time with the Gunners had been raised in an interview with RMC. « The coach judged me on two and a half matches (editor’s note: in friendly terms). I would have preferred him to play me again so I could pick up the pace, but no, he told me I wasn’t ready. I wish he gave me a chance« , he blurted out at the start of the year.

Under the thumb of Jorge Sampaoli, William Saliba is an indisputable holder while being able to stand up to the best strikers on the planet. There is no doubt that OM would like to buy back their last three years of contract with Arsenal. But will he have the means to carry out an operation which should be very expensive?

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