William Saliba’s Arsenal career is set to finally kick off next season after Mikel Arteta said the defender “must come back” after a successful loan spell with Marseille.
It’s been three years since the Frenchman joined the Gunners for a fee of £27million. However, somewhat surprisingly, he is yet to make a first-team appearance for the club after being loaned out to Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille in successive seasons to gain more experience.
Last loan spell was Saliba’s strongest. He helped Marseille qualify for the Champions League, reach the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League and his form earned him a first call-up to the senior France team and he is highly in contention for a place. in the World Cup provided he stays in shape.
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If Ligue 1 side president Pablo Longoria is successful then the 20-year-old will return to Stade Velodrome in the summer transfer window, but Arteta has communicated his decision and all signs point to Saliba having a chance at Arsenal next season. .
“He has to come back,” Arteta told RMC Sport. “He has the experience and been in the environment to be competitive with us. If he had stayed with us this year, where we had a Premier League game every week, with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.
“For his growth and what he can do next season, it wouldn’t have been good. William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had time to play to gain experience. That’s all, there’s nothing else.”
In the scenario where Saliba is part of Arteta’s plans for next season, how would his return affect the North London outfit if they sign Gabriel Jesus, Serge Gnabry and Youri Tielemans in the transfer window, while also joining to the Premier League rules at the same time?
Well, the Gunners and the other 19 Premier League sides will be allowed to name a 25-man squad after the summer transfer window closes in early September. From which no more than 17 foreign players can be named, with the remaining eight spots available to local squad members.
To be considered native players must have been registered with a Football Association or Welsh FA affiliated club for a period, whether continuous or not, of three full seasons, or 36 months, before their 21st birthday (or the end of of the season in which he turns 21).
Even though Saliba may soon be considered a local player for Arsenal, he doesn’t need to be named in next season’s 25-man squad. Instead, he can be listed in Lost Under-21 players who are eligible throughout a season. Indeed, according to Premier League rules: “A player under the age of 21 is defined as a player who is under the age of 21 on 1 January of the year in which the season begins.
For next season, the rule will be as follows: “Players under the age of 21 are eligible beyond the limit of 25 players per team. For the 2022/23 campaign, players under the age of 21 will be born on January 1, 2001 or later.” So, as Saliba was born on March 24, 2001, he would not have to be registered by Arsenal in the 25-man Premier League squad, but can still play for the club as he would instead be registered as an underage player. 21 years old and there is no limit. for this list.
Amid links with Gabriel Jesus, Victor Osimhen and Tielemans, Saliba’s expected involvement next season will not impact Arsenal’s plans, if they have any, to sign at least one of the three in the transfer window because the likely return of the Frenchman will not cause any registration. problems.