Mikel Arteta has reiterated that they’re happy with how William Saliba has matured and adapted, amid talk of a new contract.
William Saliba was promised a pre-season opportunity following his return from a loan with Marseille, and he’s taking that chance at the moment.
The centre-back impressed against Everton and Orlando City, and he might even be edging into Mikel Arteta’s first-choice side, particularly given Ben White’s struggles to get fully fit.
The concern is that Saliba only has a couple of years left on his Arsenal deal and hasn’t (yet) played a competitive game for the team. His situation will remain uncertain until those facts change.
On the prospect of a new deal, Arteta suggested Arsenal have a plan, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.
“We always have a plan and when we have to execute it, that’s a different story,” Arteta said.
“Football is a really funny game and we are really happy to have him and you can see the way he’s adapted, the way he’s matured and he’s playing well. We are delighted to have him.”
Arteta also answered questions on Saliba a few days ago, insisting the defender will be part of their squad for the coming season.
“He’s in the plans,” Arteta said. “We cannot guarantee first-team football to anybody in this team – you can ask that question to anybody.
“What we guarantee is that the ones we really see and think are going to take us to the next level, they’re going to be playing a lot of minutes.
“He’s a proper talent and he’s shown in the last year what can do.
“But in football it’s about what you do the next day — what everybody did three months ago or a month ago, it doesn’t really matter.
“It’s about what you do tomorrow and he’s going to have the chance to play.”
So far, Arteta is following through on those comments by giving Saliba those chances to play.
But as Arsenal step up pre-season with the final matches against Chelsea and Sevilla, it’s going to be interesting to see how the centre-back is utilised.