'We have to talk': Club president suggests he's going to make move to sign 'extraordinary' Arsenal player soon
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'We have to talk': Club president suggests he's going to make move to sign 'extraordinary' Arsenal player soon

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Arsenal defender William Saliba has had a phenomenal campaign at Marseille, and the Ligue 1 outfit’s president, Pablo Longoria, has had his say on signing the youngster on a permanent deal this summer.

The 21-year-old is viewed as one of the best young defenders in world football. He joined Arsenal as a teenager in 2019 but is yet to play a single competitive game for the Gunners.

After loan spells at Saint-Etienne and Nice, Saliba joined Marseille at the start of last season, and he has had a magnificent year. He now has a ton of experience at the top level and is also a full France international as well.

Arsenal fans are hoping to see Saliba be given a chance next season, but Longoria has suggested that he’ll have chat with the Gunners to see if a deal can be struck to re-sign the defender.

Marseille president suggests he wants to sign Saliba from Arsenal

Asked if Marseille are in talks with Arsenal to sign Saliba, Longoria told RMC Sport: “We had a lot of conversations about analysing William Saliba’s season, especially in the last few days. 

“He is coming off an extraordinary season, with one of the highest number of matches played in Europe. He also joined the France team, which is incredible at his age. We discussed a lot internally about what we can do, to find out what the possibilities are. 

“We respect his club, we have to thank Arsenal. They’re a friendly club who helped us a lot during the last transfer window. We have very good relations. 

“We have to talk to each other, see if there is the possibility of reaching an agreement between the clubs, there is the player’s will, the club’s will… But, above all, we must respect Arsenal.”

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Mikel Arteta says no

There was a weird rumour going around social media for a few months that Mikel Arteta just doesn’t like Saliba. Many argued that was the reason why the Arsenal boss didn’t give him a single opportunity, but the Spaniard has now brought an end to those wild speculations.

Arteta and everyone at Arsenal are away on holiday at the moment after a long, hard campaign. RMC Sport, however, did manage to have a quick chat with the 40-year-old, and he confirmed that Saliba will be back at the Emirates this summer.

The Gunners manager said: “He has to come back. He has the experience and the environment necessary to be competitive with us. If he had stayed with us this year, with a match of Premier League a week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.

“For his growth and what he can do next season that wouldn’t have been good. William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”

So, Arsenal fans can expect to see Saliba feature next season.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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