Sometimes it’s easy to forget about some of your loan players if they go out to a different country, but they can be like new signings if they improve and come back to help the team.
Arsenal were overloaded with centre backs last summer so it meant chances were always going to be limited for players like William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos.
They ended up going out on loan to Nice and Stuttgart respectively, so you have to think there will be chances for them next season after the departures of Sokratis and Mustafi, while David Luiz’s future is up in the air too.
Mikel Arteta spoke about the duo in his press conference today, and it sounds like he’s pleased with the progress that they’ve made so far:
Mikel Arteta offered an update on some of Arsenal loanees in his press conference today.
Should they get a chance in the first team next season? pic.twitter.com/m6DE1WpyV0
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) March 3, 2021
Mavropanos had a nightmare start to his spell in Germany when he picked up a long term injury, but he’s since established himself in the Stuttgart side and he’s been praised for his dominance in the air, so it sounds like he deserves a shot.
Saliba is the more interesting case because he’s clearly a talented defender and there was a clamour for him to play this season, but the loan move to Nice may have been the best thing for him.
He’s been playing really well and it’s impressive to see that he’s trying to take the lead by playing out from the back, but he’s still taking unnecessary risks and it’s caused a few problems too.
READ MORE: Video: Arsenal loanee William Saliba sees his mistake ruthlessly punished as Rennes equalise
The improvement in decision making will come with time and experience so ideally Arsenal want him to make those mistakes somewhere else, so hopefully he’ll return as a more mature and rounded defender too.
Arsenal still need to sign a few players this summer and finances will be tight, so if Saliba and Mavropanos can return and improve the team then that allows Arteta to focus those resources elsewhere.