Mikel Arteta says Edu and Ben Knapper were watching William Saliba against PSG last week, and they’ll make a decision on his future next summer.

William Saliba via Marseille
William Saliba via Marseille

There’s been plenty of talk about William Saliba again this week, following his high-profile clean sheet against Paris Saint-Germain last weekend.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Mikel Arteta confirmed that the club have been keeping in touch with Saliba, and they even sent technical director Edu and loan manager Ben Knapper out to watch the PSG game in Marseille live.

“Yes, we have been as a club always in touch,” Arteta confirmed. “They went to see the game as well, Edu and Ben were there to watch him and to keep a close eye on him and the progress that he’s making.

“Obviously he’s our player, and we all do with all the loan players that we have.

“He continues to do what he needs to do which is to play a lot of games and play them well.”

As for the future, one journalist asked whether Saliba would face a battle for his spot in the Arsenal first team when he returned.

“That’s a decision that we’ll make in the summer,” Arteta answered. “Obviously he’s our player, and naturally that would happen, and we’d have to sit down and decide what the best step is next.”

Goal recently reported that sources at Arsenal continue to insist that Saliba is vital part of their future.

Those sources point to the fact that the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos were loaned with obligations to buy in their contracts, whilst Arsenal refused any similar arrangement with Saliba.

As per Arteta’s latest comments, Arsenal are reportedly still planning to bring Saliba back into the fold next summer and reassess the situation at that stage. Saliba will return to Arsenal with a couple of years on his contract.

Fabrizio Romano also recently claimed that the move to Marseille will only last until the end of the campaign. He reported that Arsenal trust the centre-back “100%” for the future and “he’ll be back” in the summer.

Along with Bukayo Saka, William Saliba made the Golden Boy 20-man shortlist this year.