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The latest on William Saliba’s Arsenal future as Mikel Arteta prepares to hand defender chance to impress

The latest on William Saliba’s Arsenal future as Mikel Arteta prepares to hand defender chance to impress

 

A fresh insight into the future of Arsenal talent William Saliba has been forthcoming on Monday evening.

Allianz Riviera stint

French starlet Saliba has of course spent the last couple of months plying his trade in Ligue 1, with OGC Nice.

This comes with the 20-year-old having endured an altogether disappointing opening half to the campaign in north London, during which he was restricted to outings with Arsenal’s youth sides.

Saliba has since, though, gone on to enjoy a solid stint back in his home country.

The former Saint-Etienne man quickly established himself as a mainstay in Nice’s backline upon his arrival, forming an encouraging partnership with fellow loanee Jean-Clair Todibo.

The latest on William Saliba’s Arsenal future as Mikel Arteta prepares to hand defender chance to impress

Nice’s French defender William Saliba (L) is challenged by Metz’s French forward Thierry Ambrose during the French L1 football match between Football Club de Metz and OGC Nice at the Saint-Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-Les-Metz, eastern France on January 9, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

All told, Saliba has notched 20 appearances across all competitions, including 18 Ligue 1 starts.

The Arsenal loanee was even named Player of the Month by Les Aiglons’ fans back in February, on the back of his first five appearances in the club’s colours.

Arteta ready to reconsider

Saliba’s fine form back in France, though, has done little to quell the constant chatter surrounding Arsenal’s treatment of the young stopper.

Many remain of the opinion that the teen should have been handed the opportunity to impress as part of Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad over the opening half of the campaign, with the club having been overly harsh in their treatment of a potential star in the making.

But, as outlined above, if the latest word doing the rounds in the media on Monday is to be believed, then those who remain hopeful of seeing Saliba step into Arsenal’s backline in the not-so-distant future are set to be handed a boost this summer.

This comes amid claims that Mikel Arteta is ready to hand the defender the chance to earn a spot in the club’s first-team setup, ahead of next season.

As per the reliable Mark Mann-Bryans of the Press Association, Saliba ‘will be part’ of Arsenal’s pre-season training programme.

Not only that, but the stopper is expected to be kept around for the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign, hinting Saliba could finally be handed his senior bow for the Gunners later this year.

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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