Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already hinted that he has made his mind up over William Saliba. There have been question marks over the Frenchman who is currently on loan at Marseille.
Arsenal outcast Saliba has been told that he does have a future at the club by Arteta, who hinted that he is doing exactly as planned.
The Frenchman was sent out on loan to Marseille at the start of the season in another blow to his chances at the Emirates.
And the defender has been a sensation since signing for Jorge Sampaoli’s side, who are desperate to keep hold of him.
The Argentine coach has told the club that he wants him to join on a permanent basis in the summer transfer window.
But Arteta has insisted that everything is going according to plan regarding Saliba’s development.
The Spaniard said: “Well, first of all, we made together the decision for him to go on loan.
“And now he is getting those chances in a really competitive league and he is doing really well.
“The pathway we set, even if people again, like many other cases we have here, cannot understand, we believe that it was the right thing for him to do it to develop into the player that we want in the moment we want and need that player.”
Interest is likely to grow high in Saliba and if a pathway is not clear at the Emirates, there will be one elsewhere.
But Marseille’s form has hit a snag in recent weeks and the France Under-21 international has blamed himself for sour results.
“Since February, I’ve been very average,” he said. “There’s no need to hide.
“I know that I need to work, I’m a young player, but it’s no excuse. I’m going to give everything to get back to my good level.”
Marseille chief Pablo Longoria has already snapped up two Arsenal players in Sead Kolasinac and Matteo Guendouzi while he has admitted that he would love to sign Saliba permanently.
“It’s a three-way question,” Longoria pointed out. “For the player’s owning club – Arsenal, the player, and Olympique de Marseille.
“We have to see our possibilities. He is very good here, we are very satisfied with his performance.
“William [Saliba] is one of the best young defenders I’ve seen in my career.
“After all, everything depends on the three parties. It’s a matter of market value. But we have extraordinary relations with Arsenal.”
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