Sunday, September 18, 2022

Arsenal 'want to hold contract talks' with £27m star after Saka at Emirates

Arsenal will want to ‘discuss an improved contract’ for William Saliba following his outstanding start to the season, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 21-year-old has cemented himself in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI in the opening weeks of 2022/23 and could soon be rewarded for his performances at the heart of defence.


What is the latest news involving Saliba?

Arsenal purchased Saliba from Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne back in 2019, splashing out £27 million to secure his services despite the fact that he was still a relatively inexperienced teenager.


The France international was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019/20 campaign before he embarked on temporary switches to OGC Nice and Marseille.


Saliba was particularly impressive last term with OM, helping them claim a second-place finish in the French top-flight and evidently doing enough to catch Arteta’s eye along the way.

And the graceful 6 foot 4 gem was handed his Arsenal debut on the opening weekend of the season against Crystal Palace when he was named Player of the Match after helping his side keep a clean sheet.


Saliba only has two years remaining on his existing contract, though, and just like teammate Bukayo Saka, it’s claimed that talks over fresh terms in north London have already begun.


What has O’Rourke said about Saliba?

O’Rourke believes that Saliba will be ‘fully deserving of a new contract’ if the Arsenal hierarchy decide that’s what they want to offer him.


He told Gunners247: “I’m sure the club will want to sit down with him and discuss an improved contract as a reward for his progress.


“And I’m sure Saliba will just be hoping to concentrate on his football and see where the contract talks take him in the end. But I think he’ll be fully deserving of a new contract if that’s what Arsenal are planning to do.”


How well has Saliba been playing?

Saliba has played every minute of the Premier League campaign to date, helping Arsenal rise to the top of the table.


An injury to first-choice right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu afforded Saliba an opportunity to impress at centre-back as Ben White was forced to fill in out wide, and he has certainly grasped that chance with both hands.


As per WhoScored, the towering defender has averaged 3.3 clearances this season, more than any of his teammates, while also producing 3.3 long balls, more than any other outfield player.


It’s clear that Saliba has returned to Arsenal from his loan spells as an extremely well-rounded central defender, and Arteta will surely be eager for him to commit his long-term future to the club.

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