Saliba still not ready for Arsenal first team claims Edu, as defender moves on loan to Marseille

Stefan Bienkowski
Saliba’s Arsenal future ‘will be decided soon’ – Arteta

Arsenal technical director, Edu, believes William Saliba is ‘still developing’ and needs another season on loan before he’s ready for the club’s first team.

Saliba joined the London club in 2019 for a reported €28 million, after coming through the Saint-Etienne youth academy.

Despite buying the defender after just half a season of first team football, Arsenal then loaned Saliba back to his previous for the 2019/20 season and then sent him on loan to Nice in the following campaign.

Even though Arsenal are currently in the market for a new central defender, the club have decided to once again send Saliba back to France, where he will now join Marseille on a season-long loan deal.

And while some Arsenal fans would question the decision when Mikel Arteta’s side are in need of central defenders, Edu suggested the move was decided because Saliba still has some developing to do before he’s ready for the Premier League.

’Saliba is still developing’

“Together with William, we have decided it will be good for his continued development to spend another season on loan,’ said Edu in a club statement.

“William joined us as an 18-year-old, and he is still only 20, so he is still developing all the time.

"William is a player with strong natural ability and next season has the potential to be really beneficial for him at Marseille, a good club. To play another season in Ligue 1 will be very important for his development.

“We will of course be keeping in close contact with William during the season and wish him all the best in France with Marseille."

Saliba will be the second Arsenal player to join the Ligue 1 side this summer, with central midfielder Matteo Guendouzi also making the move to the French southern coast after failing to get game time at Arsenal.