Monday, July 22, 2024

Arteta wants Saliba return after beneficial Marseille loan

Mikel Arteta says he wants William Saliba back at Arsenal next season after the 21 year old completed a successful loan season with Marseille.

The Gunners boss says the club made the ‘right decision’ to loan him out to the Ligue 1 side, as they wanted him to get the necessary playing time for his development, something which would have been a struggle in a season without European football.

Speaking to RMC Sport today, Arteta said, “He has to come back. He has the experience and the environment necessary to be competitive with us.

“If he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game per week, and with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.

“For his growth and what he can do next season that wouldn’t have been good.

“William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience.

“That’s it, there’s nothing else.”

It sounds pretty definitive, and with the need for more quality and depth next season, there’s clearly a place in the squad for the Frenchman.

The issue of his contract still lingers though, with just two years left on his deal after his 2019 £28.5m move from Saint-Etienne as a raw 18 year old, there may be some pressure to agree new terms.

However, it’s not imperative, and those fans who have been waiting some time to see Big Willy in an Arsenal shirt may well get their wish next season.

William Saliba’s successful loan

Appearances: 51 (36 Ligue 1, 6 Europa League, 6 Conference League, 3 Coupe de France).

Discipline: 7 yellow cards

Awards: Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year

Amazing last ditch tackles on Kylian Mbappe: 1

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Oooo happy day! Great news 🙂


Best news I’ve heard in a while. Was worried we were going to loose him, he has been tremendous from all reports. Guendozi is doing well too and that one is gone for sure.

Mayor McCheese

I’m salibating in anticipation.


Just don’t film it…..🙄

Mayor McCheese

What’s the big deal? Everyone salibates.




Wonder which of Gabriel,White, Saliba is on the bench if all fit?


Unless the player is really adamant about going, it would make zero sense to sell him.

Also having him may negate the need to replace Cedric as white could be shifted to RB if Tomi is injured.


just sell cedric and promote norton-cuffy. If he’s not ready, buy another RB

John C

Seriously as back ups go Cedric is at the higher end of the spectrum. I know Arseblog has a pathological dislike for him but if you look at the numbers our results with him and an otherwise full strength defence don’t really suffer. If you replace Tierney with Tavares on the other hand there is a major drop off. Our premier league results is season with the following starting defences: Tierney, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu – played 10, won 6, drew 2, lost 2, goals against per game 0.8 Tierney, Gabriel, White, Cedric – played 7, won 6, drew 0, lost… Read more »


Disagree in the sense that his returning has to be linked to signing a new deal. I can’t see any eventuality in how many games he gets or how well he performs that leaves us in a better position next summer were he to end up with one year left on his contract. Options should be keep and sign a new 4-5 year deal, or sell while his value is high if he’s not up for signing.


He was first choice in a team that ended up second in Ligue 1 and qualified for Champions league.

He goes back to a team that qualified for Europa league where he’ll sit on the bench most of the time.

Yes, he can fight for his place, but I’m sure Saliba knows that Arteta won’t bench an English player that was bought for 50 mil just one year ago.

Saliba public statement last year: “Arteta judged me two-and-a-half matches” won’t help the feeling between the two.

I suspect he wants to leave, unfortunately.


Where are the conspiracy theorists…😁

Toure Motors

Hiding behind the grassy knoll

Dr Zebra

Watch Saliba can play RCB but he can also play “back and to the left, back, and to the left..”


Not sure this is evidence against the notion that Saliba himself would prefer a permanent move to Marseille over a return to Arsenal…


They can have him if they can pay 60m.
Can they?

Mayor McCheese

I think FMT is referring to all those people going on about how Arteta hates Saliba.


Oh…That’s a new one to me. If the evidence for that is Arteta leaving him out of the squad, I think that’s more consistent with Arteta’s poor squad/man management than his like or dislike of a player.


Arteta doesn’t really want Saliba back at Arsenal, he’s 100% bluffing.

Edu is currently arranging Saliba’s move back to Marseille, for a fee of a beef monster munch sandwich, and a can of cherry coke.

I’m told the transfer will go through if Marseille promise to put some ketchup onto the sandwich, and ensure the can is cold.

Final stages of the negotiations, Edu is ready to close the deal regardless, Josh Kroenke insisting on Ketchup + cold can.

I’ll update you when I get more info from my sauce

The Beast

Heard rumours Marseille were on the verge of throwing a spanner in the deal by insisting they can only offer pickled onion.

Personally I’d take the pickled onion if they throw in a double decker along with the cherry coke.

Determination Cultured

They refused to pickle the onions, but we’ve now thrown in torreira, and we’ve now reached an agreement


Arteta would not be able to ignore Saliba following his achievements. It doesn’t mean he planned it.

SELondon Gooner

Is there no lens through which you can see that this is a positive? They (Arteta and Edu) decided he wouldn’t play enough, loaned him; he smashed it on loan; got all the experience they wanted him too; and he’s going to come back and we’ll benefit from it? Do we need to find a “could, woulda, shoulda” with a negative spin?!


“…doesn’t mean he planned it.” And your rock-solid conclusion is based on…? On the other hand, don’t bother answering that. Why let any kind of logical reasoning get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Public Elneny

Ffs, please can we not equate fans who aren’t fully on board with Arteta with anti-vaxxers, QAnon idiots etc

Heavenly Chapecoense

Watching Arteta eat his humble pie and laughing.

Dr Zebra

Did he eat your pie?


Welcome back Saliba. You’ll be great and you could be one of the best cbs in the PL next season. Can’t wait to see you performing next season


That’s the spirit.





I’m already reaching for my comfy Arsene cardigan and bottle of Evian….



What does this mean for Rob Holding then?


4th choice, squad player maybe. I’m happy with that – he’s good to bring on (usually…)


He would be a good 4th choice
but Arteta wants 2x left footed CBs and 2x right footed CBs (which is why we signed Mari) so I can’t see us keeping Holding if Saliba returns.


Maybe! But maybe we will bend a bit on that… even keeping Holding means we still need to find a bunch of players if others expected to leave do and we need to end up with 22 outfield players as Arteta says he wants. Maybe a position for compromise?


Certainly not the end of the world if he stays as he’s shown his value in being the extra CB we bring on for the final 15 mins when holding onto a lead and played a big part in many of the games we won in that manner this season. It just depends on whether the player is happy with being the 5th man and /or whether we decide to cash in as I expect he’d be a rather quick £15-20m sell if we wanted to. Perhaps something that might be looked at later in the window


Also reliable sources saying we are looking for a left sided CB this summer so it seems like it’s a priority of Arteta to have genuine cover at LCB which is why I assume we’ll have 5 CBs if Holding stays


Tierney is experienced at LCB and Tomi is such a good utility player, I’d be comfortable with him anywhere across the back 4. Not sure we should be signing another CB (assuming we hold onto Gabriel) when there are clear deficiencies in other areas of the pitch.


Yes that’s compelling. Will watch this space with interest. Outside chance I guess we sell Saliba for a gazillion and use that to buy a top,top striker.

house of goons

Top, top, top striker. World class even.


You’ve got this in writing from Arteta, have you…..?


A Different George

I think Holding will in fact stay, but if we have real cover at right fullback (Bellerin, certainly, if he stays), then Tomiyasu is a better centre half. But I assume Holding is on relatively low wages and he is one of the team’s leaders and–incredibly–one of the longest-serving (Hector again, if he stays, would also play this role).


Sad to say, I think Hector is finished at the club. He is too slow for what Arteta wants at RB. I don’t think he is an upgrade on Cedric as back up. If he can find a new club that can pay a reasonable fee, he will be allowed to leave.


He’s put out a Social post saying he’s ready to do what it takes to make a Betis deal happen, so yes, I think he’s going somewhere else.


It means he’ll get a fellow centre half to hug when we clinch top four next year and win the Europa.


He’ll help when we need to defend a goal lead for last 10 minutes as usual.
Our Low block Holdini

Naked Cygan

I have the feeling Willy has a chip on his shoulder and not really happy about coming back to Arsenal. He might have some Anelka attitude issues in him.


Mate, once he gets the waft of the Emirates air in his nostrils, he’ll be gleefully kicking Vardy, Neto, Kane, Son, Fernandes, and all the other wankers up in the air – and having the time of his life.

Chill 😉


I’d like to see him back and do well obviously. But to be fair to the lad, he was treated badly. I hope Arteta can clear the air and convince him to stay.


If the club has been as clear with him as Arteta is here, should be fine. Of course, the manager is often better at communicating in press conferences than to his players. Still, good news that he’s on his way back.

Not sure why there’s still rumours of another centre back addition – surely having playable strikers and midfielders is more of a priority than a backup left footed defender.


Of course, the manager is often better at communicating in press conferences than to his players.



This could be great news, if we get him to sign a new long term contract 🤞


I actually think it’ll be like 3 new signings! Imagine how ‘on their toes’ Gabriel and Benjamin will need to be next season with this beast breathing down their necks!


Agreed. I think Ben White will be working his ass off this summer. This is real competition for him. A serious threat.


He’s our player, even if we sold Marseille couldn’t afford to buy him. He’ll come around. This is the most LANS of all LANS.


IIRC, loan players returning were deemed “almost Iike a new signing” (emphasis mine) or ALANS.

LANS are injured players returning to fitness. 😉

Walter White

Hope the fan base ill will show how much we have been looking forward to this moment.
Amazing news.



He will clearly be required – and get plenty of opportunities to play – next season.


Not sure of Salian’s thoughts on returning but it’s time we play hard ball. Return to us and play, and tie him down. Or if he is adamant to go, then someone needs to pay for a very young established CB who won young player of the year. £50mill please.

I hope though that he comes back to us with his mind focussed and we get the best out of him 🤞




I suspect Real Madrid will come for him. They have dry gun powder waiting to be used from the failed Mbappe deal and have not adequate replaced Varane. I suspect we will sell fo £65m pounds… you hearf it here 1st.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Madrid will sign Rudiger.


Interesting. Not saying you are wrong about replacing Varane, but they may end the season with La Liga and CL trophies.


If he comes back I reckon Arteta will just “Pepe” him next season ? Whichever way you cut it Arsenal haven’t exactly played ball with the kid & I genuinely think the gaffer has an issue with him ? Weirdest transfer I can think of apart from William obviously !


Park Chu Young comes to mind in 2011.

The Beast

I have a feeling when he comes back he’ll play when he’s needed just like everyone else does.

Feels like I’m the only one on here that doesn’t have access to arteta & saliba’s whatsap convo’s with the amount of ‘insight’ some have on a fairly straightforward loan.




There’s a 50-50 chance he’ll make Ben White our Europa league centre back if he comes back and fully commits. I like the competition.

John C

Doubtful, Ben White is probably the most important player in defence in terms of how we want to play. Gabriel on the other hand can be quite rash and if Saliba can off what he offers physically without the diving in he could replace him

Man Manny

Not yet Uhuru for me. Arteta wants him; but does Saliba want to come back? This even becomes more dicey since he has two years left on his contract. If he refuses to sign an extension what happens? Do we risk having to deal from a position next season? I hope Arteta learns from this going forward: this debacle is solely on him. Like Thierry Henry said, “He wasn’t even allowed to make a mistake.” That was on the brink of diabolical man-management; especially with characters like Mustafi and Sokratis where still strutting their error laden stuff in the Emirates.… Read more »

The Beast

There’s no way I would’ve trusted an 18 year old that was new to the league, country & language over whoever we had at CB when we bought him. I mean even the hardcore Saliba conspiracy theorists have to agree that would’ve been insane.

Also, I don’t remember Sokratis being error laden. Slow, definitely. Not the most elegant on the ball, sure. But he was a solid defender

Man Manny

Not even for the Carabao or Europa league group stages? No matter how many excuses we try to make for Arteta, he has not covered himself in glory here.
It is water-under-the-bridge scenario really, but I hope he learns his lessons.
Don’t forget that Leicester also signed Fofana the same year; he had a great season with them – and Saliba was rated higher than him in France.


This is good news.

Tierney Gabriel Saliba White Tomiyasu
Saka Odegaard Martinelli

Looks great 😁

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Not really

John C

Playing with inverted full backs


Why pray tell have you changed us to a back 5 next year? Where’s our midfield? Someone tell KSE not to hire this commenter!!


Definitely needs to be with Arsenal next year. May not start every game, but with White being able to play right back and Tomyiasu being able to play on the left we certainly can find matches for the five top defensive players for the four backline positions with our being in the Europa league again.

Baichung Bhutia

That tackle on Mbappe. Wow.
Better for Saliba to come back as next season Mbappe will have a say in when he can be tackled by opposition players.


I hope that Saliba can be persuaded to renew his contract. A bit of love from the supporters at the Emirates might help, lets give him a real welcome. With the other young lad arriving, plus the players we already have, we should have plenty of cover in defence. Tavares might be a bit iffy in defence, but I think there’s something there, if the errors can be coached out of him, that’s certainly some work for the pre-season.

The Beast

Really excited about next season. Amazing what a likeable young squad does for morale


Good luck trying to hold on to him.

A good offer from a CL club and he’s gone.


Aside from Saliba, Guendouzi and Bellerin also have had good seasons. If Arteta was able to truly man manage and intergated them last summer, we would be way better now. Too many keep harping on about how say Xhaka (Favorite target should be replace with so and so…’you’re not telling me Guimares isn’t better than Xhaka” quibed some baffoon chum of AFTV Moh recently. The point is we need strength in depth. Even if we brought in a replacement for Xhaka tomorrow, it will be prident to have Xhaka in the squad over another season or so at least to… Read more »


doubt he wants to stay at Arsenal. The damage already done by Arteta


I don’t think he wants to play for us. I have serious doubts about keeping someone whose head is already turned.


Really interesting player. If he plays as well for us as he did in France then it’s well worth us re-negotiating his deal. If he’s not interested then sell him off for a profit.


“If he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game per week, and with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.” Lol, If I was Saliba I would get angry just because of this. How you can definitely say something like that. There’s no argument to say that White was ever better than him, simple as that. And the guy Is so well regardarded right now that he probably thinks that’s the sky is the limit. He’s ahead of Upamecano, Konate, Lenglet, Mukiele, Zouma, etc… Read more »


If he doesn’t want to fight for his place and an offer for £50+ comes in we should sell. Lets see what happens shall we? He’s still only 21 years old.

Naija Gunner

“Amazing last ditch tackle on Mbape” 😂


Now super Mik Arteta has a dream back 3 with Xhaka Party and Tielemans ahead of them

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