Mikel Arteta provides fresh update for Arsenal fans on William Saliba

Mikel Arteta reveals that defender William Saliba is set to be part of his plans at The Emirates next season

William Saliba Arsenal
William Saliba (Photo: Arsenal Media / YouTube / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta has revealed that William Saliba is firmly in his plans for next season at Arsenal following his loan spell at Marseille this term.

The young defender is yet to make a competitive appearance for the north London side despite having signed for the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in July 2019.

Saliba has spent various loan spells away from The Emirates – at Saint-Etienne, Nice and most recently Marseille – but he now looks set to return to Arsenal and start his Gunners career.

The 21-year-old defender was a constant presence in the Marseille team this season, notching up 36 Ligue 1 appearances for the French club and also featuring 15 times in the cup competitions for the French side.

Saliba also earned his first call-up to the France national squad back in March and made two appearances for Les Bleus in friendly games.

Arsenal boss Arteta has now revealed that Saliba is set to be part of his plans for next season as the Spaniard looks to try and steer the Gunners to a top-four finish in the Premier League after they just missed out this term.

Speaking in an interview with RMC Sport, Arteta said of Saliba: “He has to come back.

“He has the experience and has been in the necessary environment in order to be competitive with us.

“If he had stayed with us this year, where we had one Premier League game every week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.

“For his growth and what he can do next season, that wouldn’t have been good.

“William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”

Saliba started his youth career at AS Bondy and then moved to Saint-Etienne in 2016 after a brief stint at FC Montfermeil.

When Saliba joined the Gunners back in the summer of 2019, when Unai Emery was in charge at The Emirates, the transfer fee was reported to be in the region of £27m.

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