Monday, July 4, 2022

Report: Saliba could still play cup final for Saint-Etienne

According to L’Equipe (€), there remains a chance that Arsenal could sanction an extension to William Saliba’s loan deal with Saint-Etienne that would allow the player to feature in the Coupe de France final at the end of this month.

It looked like a line had been drawn in the sand by both clubs yesterday when they traded irked statements about failed negotiations.

Saint-Etienne claimed we had imposed “unacceptable sports and financial conditions”. We hit back claiming they wouldn’t agree to a training plan formulated by our medical team.

The existence of a bonus clause that would see Arsenal have to pay €2.5 million to the Ligue 1 club if Saliba starts the final has also been a sticking point.

Today’s report in the French media, relayed by journalist Matt Spiro, outlines more details about said ‘training plan’ with Arsenal apparently requesting that Saliba visits London Colney for two separate medical check-ups over the course of the next month. It’s said that he could be away for up to 10 days in total in the build-up to the final on July 24.

We’ve no idea if that request is true. To be honest, it sounds a bit excessive. How much time do you need to count his limbs and make sure he’s not made of glass? Perhaps there’s some wiggle room over how long he needs to be away? It’s not like he has to make the journey by car and train; he turned up to his own unveiling in a private jet with his own film crew!

Saliba’s current contract ended two days ago, so presumably, he’s not allowed to train with Saint-Etienne until there’s a resolution. We seem to have another week to finalise a decision, so hopefully, he’s period in limbo doesn’t last too long.

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Couldn’t care less if he doesn’t play in the final. He’s an Arsenal player. If he gets an injury which puts him out for 6 months we’re the ones who will pick up the tab and have to put up with lesser options playing for us.

Gooner Sam

Yes but if we stop him playing for his boyhood club in a cup final he’s likely to resent us. Not a good way to start your relationship with the player


He’s from the outskirts of Paris. And he loves St Etienne so much that he’s leaving at 19. It’s the real world. The one we’re going g to be living in very shortly when people start being made Unemployed..


Thanks for projecting your fears of losing your job onto football. I guess this is what ‘real’ means.


Spud talk.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

I’d really like to see him play the final. No doubt it means an awful lot to him. Hope the clubs can come to a sensible agreement and that he arrives injury free, and with a cup final win v Qatar FC under his belt. What an experience that will have been for a 19 yo. I’m sure it would stand him well going forward.


Totally agree.


Well making two trips with a private jet hardly sounds like unacceptable conditions. Sounds more like them flexing their muscles keeping the good will of the player hostage for the financial part of the “unacceptable conditions”. And after setting off that ugly online, it would be generous from Arsenal to even talk with these people.


Agreed. Out of order – and stupid – for St.Etienne to upset their preparations and press their advantage in a situation where they aren’t entitled to a damn thing.


Yeah and I doubt our medical people would ask for these conditions if Saliba hadn’t spent half the season injured.
What if he picks up up a knock between now and then and Puel has to decide whether to risk him? He’s not their player anymore so he’d probably take the risk. Whereas we wouldn’t. But we won’t know if he gets a training niggle or knock if we can’t assess him.


I think he should definitely play. Imagine him having to watch the game on TV knowing he should be there- he’d inevitably lose some affection for Arsenal, consciously or not. It’s a long way in the future, and reliant upon the idea that there remains any loyalty in football, but if he comes in and smashes it and in two years time someone comes in for him, we’ll need all the goodwill we can get. Plus we’re always saying our players need more experience- not many better than a cup final.


Top post. Well said.

Artetas Assistant

He should play, life goes on and he could pick up an injury even sitting at home. However I would rather gift Charlton 2.5M no strings attached (not knowing anything about Charlton) than give those entitled guys at St Etienne


If this can be arranged, then Kudos to the Arsenal. That’s The Arsenal I’ve always known. We might not have the greatest resources or the longest honours list, but we have a history of upholding standards that are ethical and decent – The Arsenal Way. It’s that pride that sets us apart from the rest and the current regime have a duty to all those that have served and supported the club before, to uphold that. If you don’t understand or get this, then you’re not really an Arsenal Supporter.


Thanks for making yourself the arbiter of what makes an Arsenal fan and what doesn’t. Well played.


I’ve been attending Arsenal games since 1971. Were you even born then? I have my doubts.


No need to show us your stubs but yes, no shame in expecting us to do the right thing. With you Qwalitee.


there is no way arsenal should pay 2.5 million euros to let our own player go get spanked by PSG in a final. How does that make any sense.   I understand the idea of “classy” arsenal and that it would endear us to the player.   But come on. What team in the world have you heard of paying another team to use their player, risking injury and that team won’t even adhere to our training plans.   I used to live in Lyon and I can whole heartedly that St Etienne is a S hole and so are… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Look if Saliba attitudinally got irreversibly affected (pissed off) because of this, that would be first sign he won’t last at Arsenal anyway. Go with life, stop fighting. Do your best and accept shit you can’t change. Pay 2.5M himself if he feels entitled. We need grown folks from here under Mikel and not petulant kids, life punches you in the balls. Not the most affectionate opinion but as I said life punches you in the balls and not playing against PSG is tiny in the grand scheme of things . Lastly SE obviously knew about this possibility to have… Read more »


Why not send one of our medical folks to do the checkups?

Artetas Assistant

Could still happen. Must be under consideration, SE seem a nasty bunch and I’ll stop just short of sending lawyers with Saliba

Kanu Believe It

Pay the 2m additional fee if they agree to the medical requests, let the lad play in the final.


Winning a cup would make him motivated.

If he doesn’t win, that’s fine cause we gonna win the FA cup. He can look forward to a winning team ?


Saliba has earned the right to play in the final. It’s one game. The odds of him getting injured are way to low to deny him this amazing goodbye. The question isn’t whether Saliba should play or he shouldn’t – the question is that should we have to pay 2m to the club for the privilege of him competing. Poor form on the negotiators who couldn’t find a classier (quieter) way to resolve this. Now fans are stoked and full of pettiness, positions are hardened. It’s worth remembering, we will sign a lot of promising Salibas in the future and… Read more »

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