Saturday, October 1, 2022

Arteta admits he’s “fed up” with Saliba situation

Mikel Arteta says he shares William Saliba’s frustration after reports surfaced that the defender is ‘fed up’ with his lack of playing time at Arsenal.

Despite spending big money on the 19-year-old just over a year ago, he didn’t make the cut for either the Premier League or Europa League squads because the Gunners had too many non-homegrown players on the books.

After failing to loan to former club Saint Etienne for a second successive season – time ran out on deadline day – Saliba has had to make do with first training sessions and minutes with the under-23s.

Facing the press ahead of Thursday’s clash with Norwegian side Molde, Arteta said: “I’m fed up with the situation because as you could see, we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football.

“I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint-Etienne.

“For many reasons, that didn’t happen and he didn’t have that transition year.

“He needs to go through that and at the moment, with the amount of central defenders that we have in the team, we had to let him out of the squad which is painful.

“After that, we had some injuries and we could have used him but it’s part of this profession.”

Given the situation, there’s a chance the Gunners will revisit loan options when the transfer window opens again in seven weeks time.

Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on whether that would be the case: “Well, I don’t know. We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club and we had him.

“At the end of the day we could not make it and we will review the situation in the next few weeks and sit down with him as well and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.”

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Ok, Saliba goes out on loan to french league, plays regularly there for 6 months. What’s next after that? imo if arteta rated him, saliba had some game time by now. 6 months is not a huge amount of time. He’ll be 2/5 yrs done at arsenal by next summer.


Arteta has already said that he views Saliba as the “future of the club” so it’s clear he is thought of highly. He isn’t able to play because we couldn’t register him, it’s a simple as that. Ideally he’d go out on loan in Jan to another prem team if they could guarantee him minutes, it’ll help him adjust to the league and only benefit his development in the long term. He has huge potential, just needs to be nurtured in the right way.


Why Mustafi and not Saliba? One is the future the other The AFC tried to sell and is the past?!
Would Saliba have let Vardy loose to score? I doubt it but if he did it would be part of learning, what did Mustafi gain from the experience?


You doubt it because…?

Saliba isn’t playing because he isn’t good enough. If he was Arteta would have left Mustafi rot in limbo.

Viv the 馃悙

And he is still 20 after 2/5 of his contract. I think the situation was to ease in Gabriel into the side first. Playing two young unexperienced CBs, with little language knowledge at once would have been unresponsible and would have led to probably worse results. And everyone would have slacked Arteta off for doing that. The missmanagement was not including him in the EL squad, because they thought a Championship team suiting would come. That seems to not have happened. And also the St. Etienne loan didn’t get over the line. This one is probably the “big bang” of… Read more 禄


What’s the harm in at least including him on the bench in the Premier league from time to time? Surely he’s not THAT bad?


He’s not in the squad. He can’t


Im not familiar with what qualifies you as home grown but isn’t Saliba young enough to be a home grown? I thought we could have unlimited numbers of under 23s?


Regarding home grown status, it requires the player be at the club for a certain amount of time at a younger age, usually meaning they would need to come through the ranks of our u23s team first. Of course this only counts if the player is not a British citizen.
As saliba has a french passport and is too old to qualify for this, he would have to be registered as a foreign player under the rules as they stand.

Tanned arse

That’s European competition

Tanned arse

To clarify, I meant he can’t play in European competion (not being registered) as he’s not homegrown. But he CAN play in any domestic competition because he’s classed as an under 21 player.


The rule is you have to be on the books of British club for 3 years prior to turning age 21.

David Dein

Simple 1 liner. sweet!


That’s to count as homegrown after you’ve reached the age of 21, under 21 players in the premiership aren’t counted as contributing to the limit of 17 non-national players, nor in Europe so long as they have been at the club for a year. There is nothing preventing him getting a game in the premiership, league cup or FA cup this season save the manger’s selection criteria. Technically Arsenal could have a million under 21 players and they’d all be able to play in theory as they don’t count towards the quota. Also there are two homegrown statuses in European… Read more 禄


He’s not? I keep hearing contradictory answers so I don’t even know anymore.


Saliba is in the Premier League squad as an U-21 player.

Gus Caesar

Sounds like Arteta just doesn’t consider him ready just yet. He hasn’t played a lot of football this year and he’s made a few mistakes in the under 23 games he has played. If he plays for the first team when he’s not ready and then makes a mistake it could set him back months, years in the eyes of some of our unforgiving fans.


As far as I know he can play in the PL, but are you going to risk him?
Seems like his personal situ (loss of mother) has eased, so his place would be based on availability of others, and his training and U23’s performances

Gus Caesar

Worth remembering that it’s only 8 weeks until the next window opens. His career won’t be set back hugely by a couple of months of training and playing for the under 23s.

Viv the 馃悙

And also learning the language and being around the squad.




Which language? English? Spanish? Arteta seems to give the majority of his match day instructions in the latter so maybe that鈥檚 the problem


Good point.

Timorous Me

I was thinking, too, watching the Dundalk game that while I’d wished he’d been playing, the fact is that there’s so little defending going on in such a game that it’s not like it would have been a significant learning/experience opportunity. That might be the case for a few more of these Europa League games, so I think that what’s been lost isn’t really all that significant. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself these days.


Okay, while I have a certain level of understanding that things haven’t exactly worked out with the Europa League squad, and hindsight being a wonderful thing, it does feel like including some players in the Europa squad and excluding others was a terrible piece of planning and forethought.
With the teams in the group (with all respect) this was the perfect group for blooding players and giving others necessary game time, while resting key players.


But what exactly is the Saliba situation? Arteta doesnt rate him? Or simply he doesnt want to loose points because of an unexperienced young defender? Isnt this the bad management of a valuable asset?


Since Mustafi won鈥檛 sign then let鈥檚 offload him for a pittance. Hopefully Sokratis will get a move and maybe Chambers too. That should open the door for Saliba.


bizarre situation


Arteta is right to be fed up it鈥檚 an irritating situation for all parties. But it cannot be overlooked it鈥檚 a product of a trifecta the clubs errors:
1. Inability to loan him out, including that paperwork debacle on deadline day.
2. Misjudging Mari鈥檚 recovery time.
3. Leaving him out of Europa League squad.
If I were Saliba, I would feel justifiability aggrieved.


if i were saliba, I would hate arsenal by now. didn’t let me play cup final, not registering inspite of injured players, u23 runouts.

George Coles

I think this and the Balufogun screw-up are why the contract guy got fired

David C

(North American sports fan here)

Can’t we just update one of the PL or Europa squads and remove Mari from them? I’m a little confused how it works. I know there was a deadline, but can’t Mari be removed from say Europa because of injury and Saliba added? Or is it written in stone after the deadline?

I know clubs are allowed to sign emergency keepers when there are 2 injuries….

Jeremy DG

Can we send Saliba out in a Mari shirt? Nobody will know…


As far as I know you cant update the Europa league until the break between the group and knock out stages.
PL he can play thats possible you just dont want to risk him depending on his own personal situation/training/U23’s performances.

He could play a part in the FA or League cup (I believe) but so far League cup games have not be the usual easy draws.

Timorous Me

It does make me wonder why, exactly, this is even a rule. Like what would really be the harm in letting clubs make changes during a span of a few months of a competition? It’s not like new transfers are happening and being let in.


Gives the rich clubs an advantage and to the detriment of younger under 21 players? Instead of 25 man squad, why not have a 30 man squad


‘I鈥檓 fed up with the situation because as you could see, we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football.’ I’m not sure I believe that. From what I read Saint Etienne were desperate (understandably) to get him on loan again. How hard can it be then if they, Saliba and Arsenal all wanted that to happen? Surely ‘a few days’ is plenty enough time to have made this happen?

Martinelli's belly

Maybe Edu was busy doing the Partey deal he should have done weeks before?


They wanted to get him a club in England, in order for him to get used to the English system


Trying to loan him back to St Etienne to transition Saliba to PL, and not registering him even when others are injured… these are on Arteta.

Saying he is also 鈥榝ed up鈥 sounds like condescension.


Expensive, Mickey, expensive way to be fed up… 30M鈧….

Heavenly Chapecoense

You’re right. They knew about the situation of the club regarding homegrown players but couldn’t send him on loan. This is incompetence.


Maybe he’s not very good?


maybe he’s not very good YET

Melvin Bryant

It opens the discussion regarding who was buying the players last year


Our club certainly know how to waste resources and I feel for Saliba as well. It is quite dispiriting for a young player in a foreign league to be signed up and then not wanted.


Fed up and irritated at the same time 馃槖馃槖馃槖

Arsenal's Slow Buildup

This is the second year of a 5 year contract. I see another Serge Gnabry written all over this


No point in apportioning blame, but the whole episode looks quite amateurish and clearly doesn’t reflect well on the club. You can’t get away from the fact that we’ve spent a lot of scarce cash on him but haven’t decided what to do.

Tanned arse

I had strong opinions on saliba’s exclusion from europa league squad and also the attempt to loan him. Then the news about his personal loss and how that may be affecting him was brought to light. I took that as the club looking after the player’s welfare. If he’s genuinely now fed up with the situation then I’m simply reverting back to my initial thought that this is gross mismanagement and under valuing a player who was clearly ready to compete in the premiership as much as any other center back we had and certainly as much as Fofana at… Read more 禄


in the last few days of the transfer window”? Fucking amateurs. Can’t believe he’s trying to use that as a defense.


I mean, they tried in the last few days of the transfer window. Why WOULD they have him in any squad as insurance? Retarded and amateurish.

Gary Baldy

I hope Saliba’s frustration doesn’t turn his head and make him want to leave.
That said, come next summer, how many central defenders will we have cleared out ?

Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, to name three, Mavropanos another ? Hopefully Saliba can maintain focus with this in mind.

SB Still

I’m still reminded of our mis-management of another youngster, doing very well at the current Champions League holders – Gnabry.

We probably mis-managed a few other young talents as well, who are doing well elsewhere currently.

Hope we don’t commit a similar costly error with Saliba.

All including Arteta and Saliba would be hoping he would be mainstay CB (along with Gabriel) for a number of years. Hope that materialises and not too many egos are rubbed the wrong way prematurely.


He is on the list for Premier League matches, but Arteta says he’s not ready to play. It is fairly ridiculous than Balogun is on the EuropaLeague list, and not Saliba, but apparently they had too many defenders. Mustafi is the only right-sider defender available, beating out Saliba, Sokratis and injured Chambers.

Cultured Determination

It doesnt make sense. Just dont register mustafi. Or mari since he’s out till almost Jan. Or chambers cos he will probablg be back in dec/ jan too.

Jean Ralphio

This cannot be good for his confidence or development. Hopefully he gets some playing time.


Why play Mustafi or even give him minutes when he isnt going to improve, would really like Saliba given few mins at the end when we closing out the game…rather than Mustafi. Just give him time on pitch.


Before we light the pitchforks. What was the question that Arteta replied?
I mean the exact words.

Because I think I saw an article claiming Saliba is “fed up” and that’s how it entered the discussion..


When your a 19 year old professional footballer all you want to do is play football. Learning is about playing regularly, gaining experience, working on weaknesses, gaining confidence. I get that the coaches feel he isn鈥檛 ready for first team football yet but to have him not playing at a 鈥榓s close as dammit鈥 competitive level is a terrible mess up by the club.


So I’ve read through the comments, and I didn’t spot anyone mention this, so either I’m wrong (very possible) or everyone has missed this… I believe there’s been a mistake in the article. Saliba IS registered for the Premier League (he’s one of the unlimited U21 players):


Umm…he had his transition year at St Etienne.
This was the year you were supposed to blood him in the EL group stage but failed to even register him for that. Second comment in a few days from Arteta that I didn’t like. First one was the ‘We’re missing the Fan Connect’ one.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x