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Report shares Arteta plan for Arsenal star with ‘big potential’ amid interest in £50m gem

Mikel Arteta will give William Saliba a chance to impress at Arsenal despite targeting Ben White, according to the Express.

Saliba returns to the Emirates Stadium this summer after spending the second half of last season on loan with Nice. The centre-half is yet to make his competitive Arsenal debut, despite being signed from Saint-Etienne for £27million (BBC) in 2019.

He spent his first year as an Arsenal player back in France with Saint-Etienne and now faces an uncertain future. The north London club hold a concrete interest in Brighton & Hove Albion defender White, per The Athletic.

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Arsenal are preparing a move for White as Arteta wants to improve his right-sided centre-half options ahead of next term. Brighton will not stand in the 23-year-old’s way, either, should they receive offers worth around £40-50m.

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White moving to the Emirates could jeopardise Saliba’s hopes of forging a future at Arsenal. But the Express claim the 20-year-old – who is a target for Newcastle United (Daily Mail) – will be given a chance.

Arteta is expected to give Saliba a fair shot at proving his potential over the Gunners’ pre-season plans. The Spaniard has reduced his options at centre-back after allowing David Luiz to leave at the end of his contract.

TBR’s view: Saliba deserves a shot at Arsenal

Saliba felt hard done by to be palmed off to Nice in January as he believed he deserved a greater chance to prove himself at Arsenal. Arteta now targeting White could have seen the Frenchman be shown the door once again, but potentially for good.

However, Saliba deserves a real shot at making it at Arsenal. He was one of the stars of the Nice backline after his mid-season move with a raft of strong performances. The former U20 international played the ball out well and won it back on the ground or in the air.

Bacary Sagna also told Goal: “I still have trust in him. I think he is a good player, and he can adapt to Arsenal because I’ve seen him play many times. He is doing well at Nice and has probably been their best player. At that age you need to be playing. He has big potential and in France people know it.”

Arteta needs to now give Saliba a real chance at making it Arsenal, even if White arrives in the summer. The Gunners showed a lot of belief in Saliba when they signed the Frenchman, and his talents will only have improved while on loan at Nice.

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