If Arsenal fans were forced to agree on one Mikel Arteta decision that absolutely infuriated them, they would probably pick his treatment of William Saliba.
The young Frenchman returned from St. Etienne last summer and many supporters expected him to feature regularly. However, Arteta wasn’t at all convinced that Saliba was ready for the Premier League.
He kept the defender away from the squad in the first half of the season and then shipped him out on loan to Nice in January.
Saliba has had a stunning spell at the Allianz Riviera. He helped Nice finish ninth in the league table and was arguably their best player in their final 20 games in Ligue 1 this season.
Some Arsenal fans have been keeping track of Saliba’s progress at Nice and it’s safe to say that he has impressed us all. We can’t wait to have the 20-year-old back at the Emirates this summer, and it looks like he can’t wait to come back too.
Saliba took to Instagram today to send a message to Arsenal fans. He claimed that he has learnt a lot away on loan and that he is looking forward to next season, where he will hopefully play a part under Arteta.
William Saliba deserves a chance at Arsenal
With David Luiz now gone and with Arteta preferring Calum Chambers only at right-back, there is an opportunity for Saliba to come in and stake his claim in the first team.
However, he will have to report to pre-season and show Arteta exactly what he’s all about. Tearing it up in Ligue 1 is completely different to having a good campaign in the Premier League, the Arsenal boss knows that very well.
Saliba is likely to get his chance in pre-season friendlies and his future will be in his own hands. If he fares as well as he has over the last five months, Arteta will have no choice but to keep him, and Arsenal supporters would love nothing more.