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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has new defensive gem as loanee star makes another statement | Football | Sport


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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has some impressive options out on loan. One of them is William Saliba, who has been a standout performer at Marseille.

Arsenal loanee Saliba has been named in the Ligue 1 team of the week for the ninth time this season.

He also won Marseille’s first Player of the Month award of the new year, continuing his brilliant form in Ligue 1.

That is not the first time that the Frenchman has landed the award, making this the third time this season.

Marseille have fallen in love with the defender and Jorge Sampaoli would love to snap the player up in the summer transfer window.

But that would be a mistake for Arteta, with the 20-year-old shaping up to be quite the defensive rock.

Saliba has made 23 appearances in Ligue 1 for Marseille – starting every match in the league – 32 in total – and they recently posted a video of his best highlights.

Arsenal splashed out on Ben White last summer for £50m, who has been partnered with Gabriel Magalhaes mostly this year.

But after letting a number of players leave this season, Arteta is keen on bolstering his squad in the summer.

Calum Chambers departed for Aston Villa on a permanent basis while Pablo Mari was allowed to join Udinese on loan, leaving Rob Holding as the only back-up centre-back.

And Saliba would be the ideal solution for Arteta and in France they have tipped him to become one of their best prospects.

However, the Spaniard has yet to give a chance to the Bondy-born ace and this is his third loan spell away.

Interest is likely to grow high in the France Under-23 international and if a pathway is not clear at the Emirates, there will be one elsewhere.

While the impact of Matteo Guendouzi cannot be understated, who has been all but ostracised by Arteta at Arsenal.

After letting the midfielder leave for Marseille as well, the Frenchman is in Saliba’s ear and the pair get on well while Guendouzi is likely to leave at the end of the season for good.

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