Saliba’s dream scenario next season as he makes sudden Arsenal transfer U-turn

William Saliba will return to north London in the summer but his Arsenal future is firmly up in the air given his rollercoaster time at the club so far as he impresses on loan at Marseille

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Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s victory against Leicester

William Saliba is reportedly determined to fight for his place in Mikel Arteta ‘s side next season and ‘prove himself at last’.

The defender is currently on loan at Marseille and has become one of the best defenders in Ligue 1 this term.

Saliba will return to north London next summer but his future is firmly up in the air given his rollercoaster time at the club so far.

Marseille is his third loan spell since arriving from St Etienne in the summer of 2019 as the centre-half has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners.

Arsenal fans believed he should have got a chance to fight for his place in the side this season, but Arteta opted to send him to the south of France for a year.

William Saliba played the best game of his career against PSG on Sunday


Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

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It’s a decision that has paid off, however, if Saliba has a future at the club, as he has taken his game to another level.

But it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion that he will be a part of Arteta’s plans when his loan deal expires – it’s rare that a player is signed for £27million and doesn’t play a single match in his first two years.

The Sun reported that Saliba was upset about the treatment he has received and is reluctant to return to the Emirates.

But The Telegraph claims Saliba’s intentions are clear: fight for the jersey next season and prove that he is good enough to play for Arsenal.

He has even gone to extreme lengths to make sure that happens as he will shortly begin English lessons to help improve his language skills ahead of his return.

Saliba also remains in contact with his Arsenal teammates and has not distanced himself from the group despite being fully focused on Marseille.

Martin Keown spoke exclusively to Mirror Football about Arsenal’s strategy behind Saliba’s development as the pundit defended the club’s cautious approach.

William Saliba has been impressing for Marseille this season


Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He said “He’s come in at a difficult time when there were a lot of managers in a short space of time.

“I don’t see that necessarily as a problem. It’s about bringing him back in and him still believing he is an Arsenal player.

“That message will come from the manager. This season will be really good for him, we can see what a quality player he is. Hopefully, he gets another chance to prove he can play in that first team.”

Asked if he will be in Arteta’s plans next term, Keown added: “You would like to think so.

“That needs to be the ideal situation for the manager that he has a difficult job picking that back four where Tierney is the best left-back at the club, but Tavares has made that a bit more difficult for the manager.

“It seems like Gabriel and White are the main two, but Saliba is doing exceptionally well.

“It will be healthy if he comes back and creates competition and gives tough decisions for the manager. The top clubs have that, look at Man City with Laporte, Diaz and Stones. That’s why they are the current Premier League champions.”

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