Journalist Paul Brown has doubts over whether William Saliba will ever get a chance at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta.
The defender joined from Saint-Etienne for £27m in 2019 but is yet to make a senior appearance for the Gunners.
What’s the latest news involving Saliba?
Saliba is making great strides while on loan in France, but it remains unclear whether he’ll ever make the grade in North London.
Signed by Unai Emery, Saliba has spent the majority of the last two-and-a-half years back in his native France, splitting his time between loan spells with Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille, where he’s currently enjoying his most productive loan.
This season alone, Saliba has made 39 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit, starting every game but one in the top-flight to help Marseille challenge for a place in next season’s Champions League.
His recent experiences might leave him in good stead ahead of a potential return to the Emirates this summer, but Brown has major doubts over whether the 20-year-old will ever get his opportunity to shine in the famous red and white.
What did Brown say about Saliba?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “He wasn’t one of his signings and I doubt whether he’s genuine when he says I’ll integrate him into the squad, and he will get chances. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen to me.”
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Will Saliba get a chance at Arsenal?
The answer to this question will ultimately come down to Arteta.
By the time Saliba returns to Arsenal this summer, he would have racked up more than 100 appearances in senior football.
Every one of those has come in France, meaning his experience of the Premier League will still be non-existent. However, he should be far better prepared to tackle English football than at any stage previously in the best part of three years since he signed for the Gunners.
Arteta was recently asked about Saliba and hinted that he’s going to be part of his squad next season.
He said: “He’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.
“He’s very happy to go there now. Hopefully, he can enjoy his football and be ready for us for next season.”
On the other hand, despite never playing for Arsenal, his contract situation could also become a factor. He’ll have just two years remaining of the five-year deal he signed back in 2019, which could mean that cashing in on him might become an option for the Londoners.
Whatever ends up happening with Saliba, the centre-back should get some clarity as to where he stands at the club.