'I hope': Manager says he wants Arsenal's 'future great' at his club next season, Arteta's never used him
Arsenal loanee William Saliba has had a phenomenal season at Marseille and the Ligue 1 club’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli, has expressed his desire to retain his services for next season.
The 21-year-old French defender joined Arsenal all the way back in 2019 – when Unai Emery was still at the club. Many viewed him as the future of the Gunners’ defence then, but he’s yet to play a single competitive game in the famous red and white.
After a year on loan at his boyhood club Saint-Etienne, Saliba joined OGC Nice in the second half of last season. He then moved to Marseille at the start of this campaign, and this spell has arguably been his best one yet.
Sampaoli is absolutely delighted with Saliba and he’s hoping that the young Frenchman can stay at Marseille beyond the end of this season.
Jorge Sampaoli: I hope Marseille can keep Arsenal defender William Saliba
The Marseille boss said, as per talkSPORT: “William’s progress is linked to his development this season and the maturity he now has and his playing time.
“He is now consistent, he’s grown up as a player.
“In relation to his situation at the club, I hope that there is a possibility for us to retain a player like him, who knows the team.
“But I don’t know if it depends on Olympique Marseille, William or Arsenal, I don’t know the possibilities in this case.”
It is no secret that Sampaoli really admires Saliba. The Marseille boss branded the Arsenal defender as a ‘future great of French football,’ earlier this season, and he’d love to retain his services for the next campaign.
However, whether Arsenal would even entertain that thought is the big question here.
The Gunners only have Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding as natural centre-halves at the moment. Mikel Arteta’s side will be back in Europe next season, so they’ll need at least one more central defender.
Saliba would be perfect for that role and French newspaper La Provence (via SportWitness) revealed yesterday that the Gunners are planning to keep the talented 21-year-old at the club next season.
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