Arsenal’s William Saliba makes fresh future claim

Saliba, despite signing for the club in 2019, is yet to make a competitive appearance for Arsenal.

Instead, the stopper has been loaned out on three occasions and is currently plying his trade in France with Marseille.

And though he lacks some experience, Saliba is now a key cog in Marseille’s backline, who boast one of the best defensive records in Ligue 1 this term.

Now, despite never playing for Arsenal’s senior team, Saliba has been handed his senior France debut after his impressive Marseille form saw him called up to the latest Les Bleus squad for the March international break.

Saliba drops future hint

Given he is now a regular feature for Marseille and even earning minutes for one of the best international teams in the world, it seems obvious that Arsenal will have to give Saliba regular minutes next season.

However, Ben White and Gabriel have formed a solid partnership at the heart of Arsenal’s defence, something Mikel Arteta may not wish to disrupt too much.

This leaves Arteta in a bit of a sticky situation, especially if Saliba demands regular minutes in 2022/23.

Now, Saliba has all but confirmed that he will not be staying at Arsenal next campaign if he is used as a sub, stating in a recent interview that he is sure he cannot be happy whilst on the bench at Arsenal:

"They are often in contact with my agent," Saliba said.

"They send me messages. They watch my matches. They tell me to continue like this. I haven't played much with the Gunners. The coach [Mikel Arteta] made his choices, that's life. I left on loan, I played matches and, thanks to my performances, I became a [senior] international.

"What happened to me helped forge a mental toughness. You don't play just because you cost €30million. I take it positively. Even if there are times when you ask yourself questions.

"For six months, I saw that I was the only one in the group not to play, it hurt.

"I'm sure I can't just be on the bench at Arsenal and be happy. I want to play as a starter. Afterwards, if I come into the rotation as a substitute, it's not like staying with the Under-23s and never being in the squad."

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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