Arsenal

Arsenal: Arteta ‘doesn’t rate’ £27m Emery signing

Mikel Arteta doesn’t rate Arsenal defender William Saliba, according to journalist Paul Brown.

The French centre-back made the switch to the Premier League for £27m back in 2019 but has never made a first-team appearance for the Gunners.

What’s the latest news involving Saliba?

When Saliba arrived in North London, he had played 16 Ligue 1 games for St Etienne at the age of just 17 and looked ready to compete in England’s top-flight.

The 20-year-old was immediately loaned back to the French outfit, although his campaign was overshadowed by a host of injuries, which restricted him to less than 20 appearances.

By the time Saliba had returned to Arsenal, Arteta had replaced Unai Emery, the man that signed him, and it quickly became clear that the Spaniard wasn’t overly keen on the defender.

Saliba stayed at Arsenal for the first half of the 2020-2021 campaign, but his only involvement with the first-team was when he was an unused substitute against Liverpool in the Community Shield and Carabao Cup tie at Leicester.

Therefore, he dropped down to playing for the Under-23s, and even got sent off in a EFL Trophy game against AFC Wimbledon.

As a result, Saliba went out on loan in January, signing for Nice, while he’s back in France this season with Marseille, and Brown doesn’t believe that Arteta rates the defender very highly.

What did Brown say about Saliba?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Arteta has been there plenty of time now, he’s had plenty of chances to have a good look at Saliba, and it just doesn’t look like Arteta rates him that highly. It doesn’t read to me like Arteta really wants Saliba.”

Will Saliba ever get a chance at Arsenal?
If Saliba is ever going to be given an opportunity to prove himself at Arsenal, then surely next season is his time.

Not only has he served his time in the French league, but Arteta only has three centre-backs at his disposal, and with European football on the cards next season, he’s likely to need a fourth.

Therefore, it really is crunch time for Saliba. It’s got to the stage where it’s either he gets a chance at Arsenal, or he’s sold this summer. By the time he returns to the club, he’ll only have two years left on his deal, so a decision needs to be made on his future, one way or another.

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