Friday, September 22, 2023

Arteta: Saliba is not going out on loan

What are Arsenal doing with William Saliba?

Having made a fuss about the teenager returning from his Saint-Etienne loan spell in July – a decision that cost him a game in the Coupe de France final – we went on to decide he might be better off playing his football elsewhere this season. At Saint-Etienne.

Not only did we fail to sort his loan move in time, we then, just to rub salt in the lad’s wounds, left him out of our Europa League squad.

With the window to do business with Championship clubs open until tomorrow, speculation soon mounted that we might lend our £27 million signing to a club in England’s second tier. Brentford were said to be sniffing around.

According to Mikel Arteta, that will not happen. Facing the press ahead of Saturday’s game with Manchester City, the boss was asked if any more players would be going on loan. His answer was simple, “Not at the moment.”

Asked specifically whether Salba would be staying, he replied: “Yes.”

With Pablo Mari and Shkodran Mustafi returning from injury to take Arteta’s centre-back options to seven players, and with no League Cup football until December – and that’s another clash with City – it seems as though Saliba may have to settle for under-23 football before going on loan in January.

It’s all very odd.

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Has to be something going on here behind the scenes we’re not aware of. Not even Arsenal would do something this daft if they didn’t have a strong reason to think the player isn’t ready.


I wonder why in this country we take the ligue 1 in France do lightly , as being do much worse than the premier. I think this is false . Look how Lyon and psg in c.league. Beating Man city etc.. it is not a definite the team that finished 15 in premier would win against 15 place in France or even draw and you could say this across the league places. My point is if he did well in that division no reason can’t look good and do it here


If Arteta says he’s not ready, then he’s NOT READY.
I will trust his judgement all day long.

It Is What It Is

I hear you, and I do Arteta’s judgement a hell of a lot. Wenger occasionally misjudged, so I suppose so could Arteta.
He did make the golden boy shortlist, so he can play some.
Or Edu, loan guy and co may have just taken their eyes off the many last minute balls they were juggling for a second.


I think it’s pretty reasonable (and accurate) to say that thanks to the massive TV revenues & how they are split, the PL is the most competitive major football league as even the clubs facing relegation are among the richest in the world. PSG is a super club – money is literally no object to them & they can raid any other team for promising players which has effectively turned the French league into a 1 team race – similar to Juventus in Italy or Bayern in Germany. In a knock out style competition – especially this year where it… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Monaco with Martial, Mbappe, Mendy and other players could have been PL top three 3 or 4 years ago.


& then what happened to that crop of players? the best was picked off by PSG and everyone else left.

A Different George

Don’t think Martial was on that side, but Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar, Falcao, and Sidibe were.


My point was he only plays psg twice a season same as Liverpool here. He plays mid table Nice are they any worse than west ham or Newcastle or crystal palace . Not saying play him against city and pool . But surely he good enough to play west brom , if he helped Saint e. His team to the French f.s. cup final


Blogs – all my comments are getting moderated despite never having one rejected. Did I get on some sort of accidental list?

A Different George

Me too. As far as I know, none have ever been rejected.


Me too….


possibly something to do with the device you are using.

mine get auto modded on my phone, but any other device they go through fine.
It’s made me less active on the comments to be honest.


No, that’s what I mean about there being something behind the scenes. The player was clearly ready to play last season and the season before. Someone ready to play in Ligue 1 is ready to play here too. They must have a good reason to think he isn’t ready now. Something has happened, that, rightfully, is being kept out of the public limelight. It’s obviously total speculation on my part, but there have been reports that he suffered a big personal loss over the summer. Something like that can screw anyone up, but especially someone who just swapped countries and… Read more »


Apparently his mother died in late May and it has hit him very hard.


That made a lot of sense. Condolences.

Non-flying dutchman

I think it is fairly definite 15th in the PL would beat 15th in Ligue un, even if it certainly isnt definite that 1st in the PL would beat 1st in the french league. Competition tails off quite drastically after the top 7 or so there


I think this has something to do with French Cup final episode involving Saliba…


I suspect something very strange here, a potential bad new perhaps. Most likely it could be that the lad is not fit enough to play in the premier league. But good thing is he is just a teenager with plenty of time at his disposal. I hope we fans all show the kind of patience he deserves & not tag him as ‘crap’ in no time, after hyping him up big time. (FYI, the internet can plan strange things in the minds of many fans, to essentially be fickle.)

Heavenly Chapecoense

Hope overdoing young coach Arteta does not waste this guy.


If Joe Willock can get Premier League minutes, then anyone can.


5pur5 are looking for new fans.

Stuart Hammon

Must have something to do with the fact his mum died. That on top of moving to a new team and country must be tough on the lad.


Hes training but hes not in any plans…
Head space for the lad must be a tad messy.
Having paid 25mill for him, I would expect it to be personal rather than professional issues, most especially when its a young promising talent.
Very odd…on the surface at least.


Hopefully something has turned around and he is able to compete to get in the team.

santi's thigh grab

He’s 19, moved to a new country and his mom died. Probably doesn’t have the elite attitude right now to be a professional footballer. I didn’t trust the front office under Raul but I do trust Arteta to man manage his players correctly. It’s his strength area. Lack of Europa league is puzzling. Hopefully he comes good on the training ground and starts to feel part of the Arsenal family. It takes time, especially if someone is grieving.


could be best for him to go home for 6 months and process everything


weeks I meant to put. 6 months probably too long


Is this fact about mum,Arseblog please confirm.

David Lee

I don’t think it’s ever been officially confirmed. It’s a private matter so I don’t think the club would say either way


This. I trust that if someone will unlock this guys potential, it’s likely the man who’s been behind a whole group of players massively improving and looking like the assembled internationals they actually are. He was well regarded as a people person and developer of players mentalities at Citeh – Sterling in particular has spoken of this. Let’s have faith in Arteta rather than going back over Sanllehi’s business or St Ettienes accusations.


It has been a bit of a mess with Saliba, but if he’s been going through personal issues and not on the right headspace, I would think it may be the best thing is to keep in close and in-house to help him through those ups and downs, rather than off on loan in yet another new environment as a teenager.


He’s lost his mum poor kid. He’s all over the place. That’s the problem.


Whisper it softly, but perhaps this is part of the plan to build depth. No Arsenal fan needs to be told about our injury record, and perhaps against the lesser lights, such as there may be in the league, or for lower opposition in the FA Cup, Saliba might get games. So too, Özil may feature.

ESR, Nelson, Saliba, with Özil, Elneny and Xhaka (as Partey usurps his place) as senior guides.

Not that it will happen, but with the entire season being a long festive running with packed schedules, who’s to say otherwise?


Long festive run-in*


Partey doesn’t usurp Xhaka – he plays alongside him and relieves him of (as many) defensive duties.

Public Elneny

Horses for courses I think. Against the big 6 and tough away games like Wolves, Leicester etc probably Xhaka alongside Partey provides more security. In the games we need to play on the front foot, Partey/Ceballos would probably give us more. Some other situations maybe all three if we want to dominate possession/run the clock down etc.


Spock: “My mind to your mind”


Another oddity, guys? Arsenal with 19 foreign players, need 17 for the EL squad. Saliba and Martinelli out of the EL squad, so the right number is reached (17) BUT still Özil and Sokratis out and Arsenal put two young GKs in the list instead of them. Two GKs they loaned immediately after… so instead of the 25 players squad, they’ve got now a 23 players squad. You don’t need to be Einstein to see something is not logicial.


You need to brush up on counting skills 🙂

Leno, Runnarsson
Cedric, Mustafi, Luiz, Mari, Gabby, Kola, Tierney
Partey, Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos
Auba, Laca, Pepe, Willian

Look 17 foreign players and still no Ozil or Papa included.


its not just that, saliba and martinelli don’t count as they are under 21


Not going to bring up the fact the boys mother just died? Which is why they tried to get him a loan in France, so he could go home and grieve with family.


Is it a fact or only a rumour? I’ve seen no confirmation of either.

Diaby's Left Peg

Charles Watts at Goal has mentioned it so I’d take his mum passing as fact rather than malicious rumour.


And tried…but failed. Surely if that was the reason and both parties think its for the best (even St Ettienne say they had a deal in place) you don’t fuck it up and get it done.


i think it was risk/reward.

its only 12 weeks till the transfer window, they were only going to ease him in with a small number of games anyway, his mum just died.
so i think arteta just thought it was best to give him this time for grieving and adjusting to the club/country.

that on top of the corona virus stuff probably makes it just a bit easier to have him at home, even if he isn’t playing.

David C

Play Europa group games then maybe loan out in January if not getting enough games.


Left out of europa league squad, so just a matter of patience with the lad.

David C

oh I forgot that. That’s a bit strange then.

Personal circumstances aside. The drama regarding Saliba starting in the ASSE v PSG final looks a massive waste of time, especially as he’s not playing now.

eli Mapulanga

The issue between them is deep don’t just look on the surface, but he needs game time for him to up his game. I have watched him he has qualities at the back.

Richard Krivonozka

Across the league I am expecting a lot more soft tissue injuries than most seasons, and centre-backs are often the most likely players to get injuries anyway because of the more physical nature of their role. I suspect our abundance of CB’s may well serve us nicely this season and maybe even give us a competitive advantage.

Teryima Adi

Maybe Arteta doesn’t rate him, that would be the explanation for all this cloaks and daggers in the curious case of Saliba. One could go on and say he is age mate with Saka who’s playing regular football. And don’t tell me he needs time to acclimatise to the league — that was the reason we loaned him to St Etienne, howbeit, in a different league. Just play the boy. You don’t spend that much on a player to always send him out on loan. Let him make mistakes on the pitch, he would definitely learn from the school of… Read more »


It’s about time Arsenal got this sorted once and for all. It’s making the club look rather “amateurish” – giving the appearance of not knowing quite what to do with a player that cost almost £30million! It’s not that we’ve so flush with cash that we don’t need to give such a trifling matter too much thought. It must be having a negative effect by now on Saliba as well – exactly what we don’t want or need with a youngster with his potential. Someone – Edu, Arteta, whoever – needs to get a grip!

Ashburton Red

Family are more important than football.
Let him go home for a bit and play the season from January at St Etienne. Come back next season for a fresh opportunity and when we’ll need him more.


About a month ago Saliba gave an interview to French reporters talking about how he would be working on fitness for a couple of months away from the first team.

The club has not “rubbed salt in the lad’s wounds” as this article says. They’ve been transparent with the lad – who doesn’t want another injury-hit season like last year and knows he needs this adaptation time.

He’ll be fine guys, we just need to be patient with him.


It’s only been a few months of hassles, this is not a long-term issue yet. Let’s revisit this in a year.


Yeah this is mismanagement on Arsenal’s part. If they felt he wasn’t ready, they should have sent him out earlier when they failed for me, a championship loan never made sense given some of the information we had. He should have been registered for Europa. As it is, we are playing City in the Caravan,I dont see Arteta playing him there.There is a good chance we get knocked out, meaning a good chance he doesn’t start till he moves on loan in January. They are going to have to find some game time for him cause it won’t be healthy… Read more »

DB's first touch

Could someone please explain/confirm the Europa League squad omission thing…isn’t the fact that Saliba is only 19 mean that he doesn’t count towards the non-home grown quota? Do we know for sure that he is now ineligible to play in the EL until the knock stages (at the earliest) when Arsenal will get a chance to update their squad?


My understanding, mostly from playing Football Manager, is that the EPL and Europa League have different rules. In the EPL, you can have 17 over-21 foreign players, up to 8 homegrown over-21 players and an unlimited number of u21 players. In the Europa League, it is the same 17 over-21 foreign players, 8 homegrown over-21 players, plus an unlimited number of u21 players provided they have been at the club for at least 2 seasons. So Saliba would not qualify and he would have to be registered among the 17 over-21 players. I believe they can re-register in the January… Read more »

DB's first touch

Thanks for explanation, that makes sense. I’m not sure what the intent of the “at the club for 2 seaons” rule is, but maybe it’s UEFA trying to make sure bigger clubs don’t just field their reserve side in the Europa League?


yeah doesn’t make much sense.
not many teams buy players who are under 18..

which is the only way, other than academy players, they can be eligible.


I have a theory, which I admit is based on nothing more than a vague knowledge of his situation and a desire to see the best of the club. With the death of his mother, which is horrible at any age, never mind someone still in his teens, perhaps the club thought the familiar environment of St. Etienne and the proximity of his family would be helpful. When that went belly up keeping him at the club to provide support was the next best option.
As I said, just a theory. Based on nothing much…


He had a lot of different injuries last season and I remember a report that the club were shocked at how low his core strength was. He’s a big, strong looking young man but maybe his body isn’t actually as strong as it looks. Remember Kieran Tierney took the best part of a year to get fit and it’s worked out well in the end. We have plenty of time for William to get strong and get used to his teammates and the playing style. He’s only nineteen years old, three years younger than Gabriel whose been amazing. If it… Read more »


I have a feeling Saliba had a change of heart and wanted to go back to the club where he grew up. Homesick, a sense of not belonging, maybe.

Knowing Arteta’s non-negotiables, maybe Arteta recognized Saliba’s heart was not in Arsenal, so he tried to do the right thing to send him back and continue his development at his old club until he grows up both mentally and physically. Pure speculation here.


Can he spend some time playing matches with the U23 team to get experience (if not in Premier League or Europa League)? I don’t know the rules on moving back and forth between the junior and senior squads.

(All I know is that he is Under the age of 23, until he turns that age in 3 years and some months, at which point he will be 23, because that’s the way it works, or so I have been led to believe.)


He needs game time for his development. But perhaps they have felt for his introduction to playing abroad it requires more time.

God knows what would have happened with a different manager. I’m just glad Mikel is willing to hold back for the players well being.


Man City’s squad for Europe
Midfielders: Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Torres, Fernandinho.
Forwards: Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus, Aguero.

Oh No, they forgot to register Phil Foden!! Oh no they don’t need to because he’s under 21 anyway. Same for Saliba, if he is picked he can play, we don’t need to register him as he’s below the age needed.


Wait, no, he’s home grown. I’ve got that wrong, as you were…


Granted jury still out, can’t see after committing 27m for him why we won’t feel confident in using him at some stage this season.

Simon Manning

Sounds like a loan was meant to happen and then fell through. Otherwise, he would surely have been in the EL squad. EL group stage is perfect for his development, surely.


No admin staff to complete the paperwork – Saliba doesn’t go out on loan.

It’s a wonder there’s any milk in the fridge.

Shoddy, Arsenal. Shoddy.


Hope he doesn’t get lost and will make it to the first team.

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