Arsenal loanee, William Saliba is reportedly keen on staying at Marseille on a permanent deal. The French club shares mutual thoughts and wants to seal a permanent deal with the Gunners to acquire the player.
The 20-year-old defender is looking to take an exit from Arsenal without making a senior debut for the club. The Gunners have already loaned him three times to Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille. However, after joining Marseille in 2021, the Frenchman has seen his form pick in a very short while.
In terms of talent identification, he is absolutely the best CB prospect of his generation. His top performance with the French side has now forced them to strike a deal with Arsenal, a move that the Gunners will regret.
Saliba’s rise to prominence at Marseille
The Frenchman is a crucial player for Jorge Sampaoli’s side and has sealed his spot in the starting lineup. While with regular starts and playing time, Saliba seems content at the club.
The 20-year-old defender is highly dominating in the backline. As a centre-back, he has quite a lot of pace which aids him in catching up with the fast attackers. Being 192m tall, the Frenchman is also good aerially and wins most of the balls. While that is the case, he has proved to have good vision and likes to pass the ball around. On several occasions, the player has not shied away from dibbling and enjoys taking the ball further himself.
He has evolved under Sampaoli and has shown his top form emerging as one of the most intriguing Ligue 1 defenders. The Frenchman has made 16 appearances for Marseille this season and forms a deadly partnership with Luan Peres and Duje Caleta Car at the back.
Why William Saliba’s exit could prove to be a huge loss for Arsenal?
While the 20-year-old CB has proved his calibre in the French league, under Mikel Arteta however, he had only made fleeting appearances for the club’s Under-23s. After the signing of Ben White from Brighton, Saliba’s promotion to the senior team seemed next to impossible.
As a result of his performances, the Premier League side will now look to keep hold of the player. Saliba could link well with the Gabriel Magalhaes and White and potentially replace either of them, provided he consistently delivers. The player could also be a super-sub, with Arsenal lacking quality squad depth in the given positions. He could prove to be a better bet than the inconsistent Rob Holding and Callum Chambers, who could also leave the club soon.
Even so, the youngster feels underappreciated by the Gunners and will actively push for a move away from the Emirates Stadium after the mistreatment by Arteta. Unfortunately, his contract with Arsenal does not expire until 2024. Hence, Marseille would have to spend big to get the player which is a worthy and well-deserved investment.
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