Journalist Charles Watts has offered up his thoughts on the future of William Saliba at the Emirates.
The 19-year-old has yet to make a single appearance for the Arsenal first team having signed for them in the summer of 2019 for a reported fee of around £27m. He spent the first season back on loan at former club Saint-Etienne, before signing on loan for OGC Nice back in January.
And speaking on the latest edition of his show, whilst talking about the possible incomings at the centre-back position, Watts discussed whether or not anyone coming in would mean that the young Frenchman would automatically have to leave the club in order to make room.
He said: “I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that Saliba will return and be an Arsenal player next season. I hope it is – obviously, Arsenal are saying that he’s still very much a part of their plans, that’s a word that’s come out from Arsenal when they let them out on loan.
“But you do wonder how that relationship is between, say, Arteta and the player; we’ve seen the player talk pretty openly about Arteta since he’s left on loan and joined Nice.
“Is that a relationship that can certainly be fixed and workable for next season? I think the decision will be made on that in the summer.
“So whatever happens with Saliba, if it is decided that maybe it’s best for all parties that he moves on and kickstarts his career somewhere else – I hope it’s not – but if it does, then Arsenal could well be looking to bring in another centre-back.”
Should William Saliba be sent out on loan for another season?
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about William Saliba and his future at Arsenal…
Watts talks there about the relationship between Arteta and Saliba, and what needs to be remembered through all this is that Saliba was brought into the club under Unai Emery, who may have had different plans for him.
There is no real ‘affiliation’ between the head coach and the player in this instance, somewhat given away by the fact he wasn’t given much of a chance with the first team and shipped out. As Watts hints at though, that doesn’t automatically mean he will be out the door, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise if they do go down that route.