Why the early return of this 19-year-old promising starlet could work to Arsenal’s advantage


Why William Saliba’s early return from loan spell is good news for Arsenal

Arsenal defender William Saliba will return from his loan spell early after the club were unable to reach an agreement with St Etienne, the Gunners confirmed.

Talks were on between the clubs to allow the 19-year-old to play in the French cup final on July 24. But a club statement from Saint-Etienne said that they could not find an agreement, with Arsenal imposing unacceptable rules and financial conditions.

Arsenal responded by saying:

“Throughout our discussions with Saint-Etienne, our aim has been to protect the welfare of William Saliba as well as the interests of Arsenal FC, while honouring the terms of the loan.”

William Saliba
William Saliba has shown a lot of potential at a young age (Getty Images)

Saliba will now return to the Emirates but as rules read, the player will be unable to feature for the Gunners for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. The Frenchman will have to eagerly continue to wait for the new season to make his first Arsenal appearance.

The player is viewed as a long-term project and with him back into the fold, Arsenal can use this opportunity to get the player accustomed to the country. He can be ready in time for the resumption of Premier League football next season.

Manager Mikel Arteta can also start experimenting with the player in training and the player can familiarize himself with the rest of the squad. Saliba can also spend some time with the U23s team and will be determined to take his time to be ready.

The youngster made 16 starts for Saint-Etienne this season and was hugely impressive. His incredible composure might have caught many eyes. The player though, has never played away from France, and has faced multiple injuries. So Arsenal will have to take their time to get the player settled into the team.

William Saliba Arsenal
William Saliba now has a lot of time to settle down at Arsenal (Getty Images)

Arsenal can utilize this time to help the player integrate into the first-team. The club would very much be aware that the player isn’t going immediately solve their defensive crisis.

Thus, Saliba returning early is going to ensure that he gets to be a part of the environment and train with the first-team so that he can grow as a player.

The youngster has shown signs that he has it in him to become a top defender and the player is back right in time to adjust to the set-up and move ahead on the path of development.