According to reports, Arsenal are to offer William Saliba a new contract, regardless of where he plays football next season.
The 21-year-old signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for £27m; however, questions have been raised over the defender’s future as a Gunner after failing to make a single league appearance before being shipped out on loan to Marseille.
During his loan spell for French side Marseille, the centre-back made 52 appearances last season, helping to guide the club into the Champions League next season and proving himself to be one of Europe’s brightest prospects.
According to 90min, Arsenal fully intends to have Saliba as part of their first-team squad next season and will offer him a new deal.
The 21-year-old is clearly ready to make the move up in the Premier League if his previous season at Marseille are anything to go by.
During an interview with Football Insider, Gabby Agbonlahor backed Saliba to replace Ben White in the Arsenal starting XI for the 2022/23 season, believing the Frenchman has the quality to immediately take “overrated” White’s place in the team.
“I’ve watched Saliba a few times, and he’s got that speed that you like to see in a centre-half, and he’s very good at making the right decision at the right time,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Arsenal’s defence is nowhere near good enough to get top-four. For me, Ben White is very overrated, I watched him against Newcastle towards the end of the season, and he was absolutely dreadful.
“He lacks pace, he lacks aggression. Yes, he’s good on the ball but he’s not a defensive midfielder, he’s a centre-half.
“Arsenal need two centre-halves who are no-nonsense and have both got speed. For me, Gabriel and Saliba would be my starters next season.
“With Ben White, I think Brighton are laughing at getting the fee they got for him because he’s not good enough.
“It’s a shame that Arsenal have wasted a lot of money again. It was the same with Pepe. Ben White was not needed and Saliba should start ahead of him.”
What do you think, should Saliba start over White?