A recent report from The Mirror has claimed that Arsenal are looking to add Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White this summer, in a move that could have an impact on the makeup of the squad for next season.
With the Gunners not competing in European football next season, they arguably do not need as big a squad in order to rest and rotate the team to keep them competitive on all fronts – indeed, the club are reportedly intending to shed a lot of players this summer as a result of that.
However, Saliba, who is valued at £16.2m on Transfermarkt and spent the second half of last season on loan at OGC Nice, is set to be part of the club next season no matter what, with Watts claiming on his show that the news surrounding White and his possible arrival would have no impact on the Frenchman’s future:
“The word is, I’ve been told – Arsenal said since they sent him out on loan in January – that he was still a big part of their plans, he will be coming back this summer. It’s my understanding that hasn’t changed.
“I know from Saliba’s side that they still fully expect that he is coming back and he’s going to be here playing pre-season and wants to be at Arsenal next season and that I believe is still the plan, nothing has changed, even with what’s going on with Ben White.”
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about William Saliba’s future…
Would you like to see Saliba given a chance to prove he is ready at Arsenal?
This really should be the make-or-break season for Saliba regardless of whether Arsenal are able to sign White. Given the amount they forked out for him initially, it’s understandable to have let him develop elsewhere for the past two seasons, having done so with Saint-Étienne and Nice.
But really, he should be pushing for a starting place in the team this season, and whether that means he is the main defender, or has to partner White, then so be it, but he needs to be given the opportunity to play and by the sounds of it, that is exactly what he is going to get.
Now he just needs to make the most of it.