Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has, on Thursday, provided a fresh insight into the oft-discussed future of William Saliba.
Highly-regarded youngster Saliba, of course, is fresh off the back of a third loan stint away from the Emirates, and parent club Arsenal.
After failing to work his way into the first-team plans of Mikel Arteta ahead of the campaign getting underway, the 21-year-old secured a return to his home country with Olympique Marseille.
And to say that Saliba subsequently went on to impress would be something of an understatement.
The former Saint-Etienne talent quickly established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet of boss Jorge Sampaoli, en route to starts in all but two of Marseille’s Ligue 1 outings across the campaign.
Not only that, but Saliba too saw his form rewarded with both a call-up to the French senior national team, and the award for Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year.
In turn, it did not come as a major surprise when confirmation arrived upon the close of the season that Arsenal had come to the decision to finally integrate their talented young defender into the club’s senior ranks moving forward.
As reiterated by Mikel Arteta himself, Saliba ‘had to come back’ to north London this summer, with a view to the 2022/23 campaign.
And yet, as the summer rolls on, murmurs hinting at a potential fresh Emirates exit for the Frenchman continue to circulate.
Speaking to the media whilst on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States on Thursday, the subject of Saliba’s future, in turn, was put to Arteta once more.
When pressed specifically on the potential renewal of the stopper’s contract, due to expire in the summer of 2024, though, the Gunners’ boss hinted that plans are in place to lock Saliba down for the long-term: