Mikel Arteta is ready to give consideration to handing William Saliba a spot in his first-team squad at Arsenal next season, according to reports.
Allianz Riviera stint
French starlet Saliba has of course spent the last couple of months plying his trade in Ligue 1, with OGC Nice.
This comes with the 20-year-old having endured an altogether disappointing opening half to the campaign in north London, during which he was restricted to outings with Arsenal’s youth sides.
Saliba has since, though, gone on to enjoy a solid stint back in his home country.
The former Saint-Etienne man has quickly established himself as a mainstay in Nice’s backline, forming an encouraging partnership with fellow loanee Jean-Clair Todibo.
All told, Saliba has notched 16 appearances across all competitions, including 14 Ligue 1 starts.
The Arsenal loanee was even named Man of the Match at the weekend, on the back of a starring display during Les Aiglons’ Ligue 1 stalemate with Reims.
🇫🇷 William Saliba vs. Reims:
90 minutes played
88 passes (98.9% accuracy)
2 key passes
3 ground duels (2 won)
4 aerial duels (3 won)
3 long balls (100% success)
1 clean sheet
Man of the match#AFCLoanWatch pic.twitter.com/dyEeOn2roG
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) April 11, 2021
Arteta ready to reconsider
Saliba’s fine form back in France, though, has done little to quell the constant chatter surrounding Arsenal’s treatment of the young stopper.
Many remain of the opinion that the teen should have been handed the opportunity to impress as part of Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad over the opening half of the campaign, with the club having been overly harsh in their treatment of a potential star in the making.
But, as outlined above, if the latest word doing the rounds in the media on Tuesday is to be believed, then those who remain hopeful of seeing Saliba step into Arsenal’s backline in the not-so-distant future are set to be handed a boost this summer.
This comes amid claims that Mikel Arteta is ready to ‘take a closer look’ at the Frenchman, ahead of next season.
The info comes courtesy of the reliable Chris Wheatley of football.london, who suggests that Saliba will be under close inspection when Arsenal’s squad meet up for pre-season training.
This comes with Arteta having previously admitted to being impressed by the starlet’s growth to this point in the campaign.
A first-team spot for Saliba in 2021/22, though, would likely spell the end of David Luiz’s stint at the Emirates, with the veteran Brazilian’s current terms set to expire in the summer.