Mikel Arteta yet to make decision over William Saliba’s future at Arsenal

Arsenal will assess William Saliba's future this summer
Arsenal will assess William Saliba’s future this summer (AFP via Getty)

Mikel Arteta admits he has not made a decision over William Saliba’s long-term future at Arsenal.

The 20-year-old was signed in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne in July 2019 and is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Gunners following his arrival last summer.

Having failed to secure a role under Mikel Arteta in the first half of the season, Arsenal allowed Saliba to return to Ligue 1 in the January window as he joined Nice on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

Arsenal could now be in the market for a new centre-back following the decision to not renew David Luiz’s contract this summer.

And when asked if Saliba could replace David Luiz next season, Arteta replied: ‘You will see in the summer, the possible replacement.

‘William is our player for sure and that’s the decision that we’re going to be taking soon.

William Saliba has spent the second half of this season on loan at Nice
William Saliba has spent the second half of this season on loan at Nice (Getty)

‘When we finish the season, we will sit down. We’re still competing. We will sit down and discuss the roles of every member of the squad and how they can fulfil that role and he’s our player so he’ll be back here for sure.

‘After that, we will make a decision based on the agreement of the role that each player is going to have in the squad.’

When asked if Saliba really needed to be sent out on loan, Arteta replied: ‘Yes. I would have liked for it to have happened at the start of the season.

‘We had eight central defenders, which is unheard of, but we didn’t find the right moment, the right club, the right agreement to do that and in my opinion, we could have used those four or five months in a better way.

‘We tried to maximise it when we decided to keep him here until December and now he’s had a run of games that he needed after the difficult year that he had in the previous season.’

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