Sky Sports transfer insider Dharmesh Sheth has provided an update on the future of Arsenal defender William Saliba following news coming out of the club.
A recent report from The Athletic claimed that the club are “moving closer to reaching an agreement” for Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White about a proposed £50m move to the Emirates Stadium.
20-year-old defender Saliba, valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt, had been out on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice for the second half of the season, with the 20-year-old reportedly feeling ‘hurt’ over the way that he was treated by the club.
And according to Sheth, speaking on Sky Sports News, there could be some harsh truths coming his way in the near future, with the club set to discuss what the long-term plans are for the Frenchman:
“What’s going to happen now, my information is, that when pre-season restarts or even before then, William Saliba will have talks with the Arsenal hierarchy – that will include the technical director, Edu, and the manager, Mikel Arteta.
“They will discuss whether it is best for William Saliba’s development to remain at Arsenal next season, or to go out on loan again next season, or in fact, to move permanently out of Arsenal.
“Because if Ben White is to join Arsenal, then there’s going to be quite a lot of players who will be in front of William Saliba at Arsenal, so there will have to be a discussion there on what is best for the career of William Saliba.”
TIF Thoughts on Dharmesh Seth’s comments about William Saliba at Arsenal…
Should William Saliba be sent out on loan for another season?
If Arsenal are able to pull off a deal for White, then it certainly does put Saliba in a very precarious position and as Sheth suggests, could bump him down the pecking order.
What’s important to note in all of this is that Saliba was not a Mikel Arteta signing, as he came in during the reign of Unai Emery – so could be classified as an unwanted burden for Arteta to deal with. And whilst a report last month did claim that he would get an opportunity to impress this summer, if White is coming in, then priorities could change.
Perhaps more importantly, the bar that Arteta could set for what would ‘impress’ him might just have been raised as well – particularly if a mega-money move for another defender is made – so it’s fair to say there could still be some twists in this story to come.