football

William Saliba finally set for chance at Arsenal as Gunners plan to reintegrate defender


William Saliba is set to return to Arsenal at the end of the season (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s board have rejected advances from Marseille to make William Saliba’s move to France a permanent one as the club want to reintegrate the defender into the first team set-up next season.

Saliba, a £30million signing from St Etienne in 2019, is yet to make his debut for the club and he’s on his third loan spell since moving to north London.

Mikel Arteta has repeatedly insisted that Saliba is not yet ready for the first team but his loan spell at Marseille has been his most successful to date, with the defender making 25 appearances in all competitions already this term.

The Ligue 1 giants have been so impressed that they want to sign Saliba on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Saliba is yet to make his debut for the club (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Given the Gunners spent £50m on Ben White and have the likes of Gabriel and Ben Holding competing with the former Brighton ace, Marseille had hoped that Arsenal would be willing to listen to offers for the Frenchman.

However, L’Equipe claim Arsenal will not sell Saliba and they want him to compete for a spot in the squad next season.

Arsenal’s board have high hopes for Saliba and hope that he will be ready to play in the Premier League following another season in France.

Arteta suggested earlier this season that he’s coming round to the idea of Saliba featuring for his side.

‘I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan,’ said Arteta.

‘But a lot of things have happened to him he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.

‘For him, he needs much more than that, because what happened in the last 18 months, he’s been through some personal problems as well that we have to try to help him and stay as close as possible to him.

‘And now he needs to play, play and play and enjoy his profession as well. And in order to do that I think we found the right club with him.

‘He’s very happy to go there now. Hopefully he can enjoy his football and be ready for us for next season.’


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