William Saliba will join up with Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Scotland in July after a successful loan spell at OGC Nice. Arsenal are expected to give the Frenchman an ‘opportunity to impress’ in pre-season matches against Rangers and Hibernian after the conclusion of the Euros a week prior.
William Saliba’s last match for Arsenal was a 4-1 victory over MK Dons in which Saliba was only on the pitch for 40 minutes of. The club’s initiative to send the 20-year-old out on loan was a good one as it has given him some more experience to learn elsewhere, in a slightly less competitive league, before being thrown into the biggest challenge of his career – being Arsenal’s first choice centre back playing Premier League football.
Chris Wheatley reports: “William Saliba will return to Arsenal in July where he will get an opportunity to impress in pre-season. He isn’t for sale and won’t be leaving #AFC this summer.”
Playing alongside Jean-Clair Todibo, on loan from Barcelona, has been exactly what Arsenal’s loanee needs. When playing for a team, you do not need there to be a language barrier stopping two players from communicating and liaising before passing the ball out from the back.
Talks commenced over the past two weeks remotely between Arsenal and William Saliba’s representatives where Djibril Niang, William Saliba’s agent, has confirmed to RMC Sport that his client will not be loaned out or sold by Arsenal this summer and that he expects Saliba to be included in match-day squads next season.
All Arsenal fans want to see a centre-back pairing of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba next season and with this partnership, the dialogue would not be an issue because of Gabriel’s spell at Lille before coming to north London.
Mikel Arteta needs to give Saliba the opportunities to impress during the next season, the Frenchman is more than capable and some would argue that those opportunities should of come last season at Arsenal. With David Luiz leaving and Arsenal not looking at purchasing another centre-back in replacement of the veteran Brazilian, Saliba could be given some game time consistently in the season to come.
Arsenal fans are under the impression that Saliba will come in and do a better job than Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and David Luiz did this season but it is important to remember the age of the Frenchman and the fans of the club need to support the player through the tough times and when he makes mistakes they need to make sure not to get onto him about those mistakes, abusively, especially those that have been screaming for Saliba to start.
The former Saint Etienne player is used to playing out from the back having played that way for two different clubs in Ligue Un but the Premier League is a whole new challenge and Saliba needs to be ready for this big step up in his career, the day the Frenchman gets his first call up to a Premier League starting line-up with Arsenal.
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