Arsenal have told William Saliba they’ve decided to keep him, and raised the possibility of a contract extension with the club.
L’Equipe (via GFFN) report that Arsenal have decided to keep William Saliba next season, informing the centre-back that they intend to make him part of their project and bringing up the prospect of a contract renewal.
In another L’Equipe article, they report that Marseille surely have little chance of re-signing Saliba, and they’re currently focusing on a deal for Isaak Toure of Le Havre instead.
This all seems to be backed up by Mikel Arteta’s latest quotes on the subject, speaking to RMC Sport.
“He has to come back,” Arteta said (via GFFN). “He has the experience and the necessary environment to be competitive with us.
“If he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game a week and with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the game time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.”
“In terms of his growth and what he could do next year, it wouldn’t have been good. William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time required to gain experience. That’s it, nothing else.”
That’s certainly what Arsenal fans want to hear. If it’s true that Saliba’s loan spell was entirely planned for the good of his long-term Arsenal career, then it could be a small price for the club to pay.
A France international and Young Player of the Year award winner coming off the back of a 51-game season with a top-two club in Ligue 1 at just 21 years old, Saliba’s future gives us plenty to be excited about.
Arteta now needs to back up his words with actions, giving Saliba consistent chances on the pitch.
If that doesn’t happen, you’d imagine the defender won’t be keen to renew his deal, and he’ll have to be sold next summer.