Arsenal tell William Saliba to FORGET transfer exit this summer with defender finally wanted in Gunners’ first-team
WILLIAM SALIBA has been told he will be a key player for Arsenal next season and must stay at the club after three years out on loan.
The French defender, 21, reluctantly returned to the Emirates after helping Marseille finish Ligue 1 runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain.
And reports in France claim the £27million centre-back, signed from Saint-Etienne in 2019, will ask to leave if he is not a starter for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
But Arteta is confident Saliba, who has two years left on his deal, has a huge future at Arsenal.
He said: “William is in my plans and we are all excited to watch him.
“He’s a proper talent who showed what he can do at Marseille.
“The way our relationship started was not a typical thing to do but the plan was always to buy him and send him on loan.
“We have been trying to prepare him in the best possible way for what he faces in the Premier League.
“We cannot guarantee first-team football to anyone. But I guarantee players who take us to the next level are going to play a lot of minutes.
“He’s improved in so many areas. All the time he has been abroad has built confidence in him.”
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Saliba is up against Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari for a place in central defence.
He has had an uneasy relationship with Arsenal since they blocked him from playing for Saint-Etienne in the 2020 French Cup final.
But Arteta, speaking from the US on the club’s pre-season tour, defended the decisions and said: “The communication and honesty has always been clear. I never promised him any minutes.”
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