Mikael Silvestre explains why Arsenal shouldn’t keep William Saliba

Wilhelm Saliba

Saliba has made 33 appearances for Marseille this season (Image: Getty)

Mikael Silvestre advised Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is set to return William Saliba on loan next season as he is unwilling to play at the highest level.

Saliba, 21, was signed by the Gunners from St Etienne back in 2019 but has yet to play a game for the club as he has spent most of that time on loan in France.

Last summer, the centre-back joined Marseille for the current season and has been a mainstay in the Ligue 1 side’s defence, making 33 appearances this season, earning the Frenchman a place in Arteta’s squad next season.

However, Silvestre, who played at the Emirates between 2008 and 2010, believes Saliba still needs improvement and will not develop while on the Arsenal bench.

Speaking to Genting Casino, he said: “If you look at Gabriel and Ben White I think that should be the partnership for next season. If Saliba comes in, he’ll be a backup.

“He’s still young and I’d be tempted to loan him out for another year to make him even more consistent. He’s improved on this loan but there have been a couple of games where he hasn’t been at his best.

William Saliba and Mikel Arteta

Arteta wasn’t convinced by Saliba during his time at the club (Picture: Getty)

“To develop and become a big part of Arsenal going forward, if you bench him after a full season for Marseille it would be a step backwards in his development. You have a big decision to make about his future.”

It’s likely Saliba would be fourth in the pecking order behind Ben White, Gabriel and Rob Holding if he stayed at Arsenal next season.

Last year, Saliba revealed his frustration at not being able to break into the first-team squad at Arsenal and was recently linked with Atletico Madrid.

Earlier this month, Arteta conceded that Saliba had performed well in France, with the youngster playing a significant role in Marseille’s run to the Europa Conference League semi-finals this season.

He said: “Well, first of all we made the decision together to loan him out. And now he’s getting those chances in a really competitive league and he’s doing really well.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/27/mikael-silvestre-explains-why-arsenal-should-not-keep-william-saliba-16547044/ Mikael Silvestre explains why Arsenal shouldn't keep William Saliba

Nate Jones

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