William Saliba set for Marseille loan


William Saliba is set for a third loan spell since joining Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for €30 million, as David Ornstein reports for The Athletic.

Saliba first returned to his former club for a while, and played also for OGC Nice in the second half of 2020-21, making 20 Ligue 1 appearances and scoring his only goal in the victory away to Olympique Lyon on the final matchday of the campaign.

Despite being seen as a great talent and potentially an important part of the future at Arsenal, as well as his contract there running for three more years, the 20-year-old defender is yet to prove to manager Mikel Arteta that he is ready for the challenges of the Premier League. Saliba himself has, however, openly bemoaned the fact that he hasn’t been given a proper chance at his parent club yet.

The initial plan ahead of this summer was for Saliba to remain at the Emirates and fight for regular game-time there, but the proposed arrival of England international Ben White changed that. The talks between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion are reportedly at an advanced stage, and White’s move to North London should be completed quickly after his involvement at the Euros is over.

Over at Marseille, Saliba should drop straight into contention for a starting place under Jorge Sampaoli, and unlike his Arsenal teammates, he would get a chance to play in the Europa League next season.

Apparently, Saliba was given three options to choose from, and he chose Marseille over Newcastle and Lille. The deal is not done yet, with the two clubs still to agree on its finer points, but no problems are expected to arise on that front.