The one big criticism many Arsenal fans have of Mikel Arteta is his treatment of William Saliba in the first half of this season.
The Arsenal boss left him out of his Premier League and Europa League squads. Saliba was stuck with the reserves and was eventually shipped out on loan to Ligue 1 side Nice in the January transfer window.
Saliba has been brilliant for Les Aiglons over the last few months. He has been one of their best players, and many feel that he is now ready to return to Arsenal and fight for a place in the first-team next season.
However, a latest report says the complete opposite.
The Sun reveal that Mikel Arteta is still not convinced that Saliba is ready to play in the Premier League. It is claimed that the young Frenchman is unlikely to feature for Arsenal next season as the Gunners are looking to keep David Luiz for another year.
The Brazilian will be forced to take a pay cut to stay at the Emirates. It is unclear if Luiz will agree to those terms, but if does, it would be a huge blow for Saliba’s future as an Arsenal player.
The Insider’s View:
We can all agree that Saliba was not ready to feature in the Premier League at the start of this season. He hadn’t played competitive football for a while, and he wasn’t physically ready to adapt to the English game.
Arteta, despite all the criticism, was right to send him out on loan. Saliba’s performances for Nice have mostly been outstanding since he joined them, and there is no reason why he won’t be ready to fight for a place at Arsenal next season.
Luiz staying might complicate things for Saliba but Arsenal should still keep hold of him. He deserves a chance to prove his worth at the Emirates, and even if he only plays a handful of times next term, the experience would be invaluable for him.