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Arsenal have room for Saliba next season after Marseille heroics, says Arteta

11:16 BST 29/10/2021
William Saliba Marseille Kylian Mbappe PSG
The Premier League side are keeping a close eye on the 20-year-old centre-back as he impresses in Ligue 1

Mikel Arteta says William Saliba could fight for a place in the Arsenal squad when he returns from his loan at Marseille next season.

The 20-year-old is on his third loan spell in France since he joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019.

The centre-back has impressed with Marseille this season and earned rave reviews for his performance in the 0-0 draw against Paris Saint-Germain last week. 

What has been said?

Arteta says he watched as Saliba played an important role against the French giants and feels there is still a place for him in north London.

"Yes, as a club we are always in touch. They went to see that game. Edu and Ben [Knapper, Arsenal loan manager] were there to watch him and keep a close eye on him and the progress he is making," Arteta said at a press conference.

"Obviously he is our player and we do with all the loan players that we have."

Asked if he could fight for a place in the Gunners squad next season, the manager added: "That is a decision we will make in the summer. Obviously he is our player and naturally that will happen. We will have to sit down and decide what the next step is next.

"I think there is room [to accommodate him, Ben White and Gabriel]. Again, it will depend on what happens with other players and that’s not a conversation to have now."

How have Arsenal performed this season?

The Gunners have recovered from a rough start to the season in which they lost their first three Premier League matches.

Arteta's team are on an eight-game unbeaten run across the English top flight and the Carabao Cup.

Arsenal, who are 10th in the league, have an away game against Leicester on Saturday, followed by a home match against Watford next week.

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