One of Mikel Arteta’s biggest criticisms as Arsenal boss is his treatment of William Saliba in the first half of this season.
Unai Emery forked out £27 million for the teenager at the start of last season, but he was sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne. (Goal) The young Frenchman was expected by many to play a big part for the Gunners this term, but Arteta wasn’t convinced.
Saliba didn’t play a single minute of senior football for Arsenal this season. He was forced to play with the reserves and was sent out on loan in January to OGC Nice to get more experience under his belt.
In his first three months with the Eagles, the defender has impressed everybody. He won the player of the month award just a few weeks after joining them as well, and Arsenal fans are beyond excited to see him play at the Emirates next season.
However, there are fears among some supporters that Arteta still won’t fancy him. Thankfully, will not be the case if a latest report is to believed.
Football London claimed last night that Arteta wants Saliba back for pre-season. The Arsenal boss wants to take a closer look at the young defender at London Colney this summer, and there is a feeling he will be given a chance to feature for the senior side.
The Insider’s View:
That is the right thing to do.
Arteta wasn’t convinced that Saliba was ready for the Premier League at the start of this season. The Frenchman hadn’t played for months when he showed up at London Colney last summer, and that clearly played a part.
Now that he will have featured regularly for Nice, Saliba will have to impress in training. Arteta will be watching him closely, and if he can convince the Arsenal boss that he’s ready, he will surely play a part next season.