Arsenal’s Saliba sends a message to Arteta with outstanding displays

Robin Bairner
On-loan Arsenal defender William Saliba playing for Marseille

Arsenal centre-back William Saliba continues to send a message to manager Mikel Arteta with his outstanding performances on loan at Marseille.

Signed from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 for €29 million, Saliba has famously been given the cold shoulder by Arteta, who has not used the young Frenchman at all during his time at the Emirates.

Instead, he has been sent out on three loan deals in Ligue 1. The first of these was back to Saint-Etienne during the aborted 2019/20 season and that was followed by a switch to Nice for the second half of last term.

During his time at the Allianz Riviera, Saliba won acclaim, yet he was unable to get a chance when back at Arsenal and was shunted out on loan again.

Saliba had a moderately slow start in Marseille but in recent weeks has proven himself as one of the club’s outstanding players.

His outstanding tackle on Kylian Mbappe last weekend during a 0-0 draw against Paris Saint-Germain was a highlight of a fine personal performance, and that was followed up in midweek with another enormous performance in the derby against Nice.

For L’Equipe, he was the match’s outstanding player, given a 7/10 rating:

“The former Nice player is on a tremendous run of form. Excellent during Le Classique three days ago, he was perhaps even more precious against Nice… He grew as the match went on, won many duels to wake up his team, increasingly pushed forward himself and even occupied the right side of the park to push his team forward.”

Will Saliba return to Arsenal?

Saliba’s long-term future remains unclear, though his prospects of breaking through at Arsenal would appear to be greater if Mikel Arteta was to leave the club – something that is certainly possible between now and next summer, when his deal with Marseille is up.

Indeed, Marseille have no purchase option in the loan deal.

The Sun reports that Saliba is not in a hurry to return to Arsenal, but a change of management could have a big bearing on his future.