As you know, William Saliba spent the last season on loan at Marseille, where the Frenchman excelled under Jorge Sampaoli.
The Arsenal defender was sent to the south of France to get the game time he wouldn’t be receiving at the Emirates under Mikel Arteta this season, which is exactly what he got.
He developed tremendously, to the point where the Spanish manager now wants him back with the Gunners for next season.
Arteta spoke to RMC Sport about the Arsenal player’s situation, and made his wishes clear regarding the 21-year-old going forward.
He said: “He needs to come back. He has the experience and environment necessary to be competitive for us. If he had stayed with us this year, with a Premier League game per week with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the game time he got at Marseille, that’s certain.
“For his growth and what he can do next year, it wouldn’t have been good. William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have got the required time on the pitch to gain experience. That’s it, there’s nothing else.”
So, it’s clear that with Arsenal back in Europe, albeit in the Europa League, Arteta wants Saliba back to add depth to his squad.
Whether the player wants that remains to be seen, as a prolonged stay at Marseille would see him play Champions League football.
That would take quite some negotiating from Pablo Longoria, however, especially since Arteta has now made his stance publicly known.