The latest word stemming from the media over the last 24 hours suggests that those in a position of power at Premier League giants Arsenal have come to a definitive decision regarding the future of on-loan talent William Saliba.
Gifted stopper Saliba is of course currently in the midst of his third successive loan spell away from the Emirates.
Despite having been signed in the summer of 2019 amid widespread fanfare, the 20-year-old is yet to convince those in a position of power at his parent club of his readiness to feature on a consistent basis in the Premier League.
In turn, after returning from an altogether impressive spell with OGC Nice over the 2nd half of last season, it was decided during the summer that yet another move back to his home country would benefit Saliba best over the campaign ahead.
The Frenchman linked up with Ligue 1 heavyweights Olympique Marseille, and has since not looked back.
Saliba has been widely lauded for his efforts at the heart of OM’s backline over the opening half of the term, displaying a complete repertoire of ability in the tackle, explosive athleticism and composure in possession.
All told, he has been afforded starts in all but one of the club’s league fixtures, helping Marseille to a spot in 2nd-place in the Ligue 1 table as things stand.
Gunners stand firm
Amid his starring stint in the south of France, however, speculation, of course, has continued to swirl surrounding just what may be next for Saliba.
Despite Mikel Arteta having hinted at a place in his plans for the defender late in October, the stellar partnership being fostered by Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes means that regular game-time could well prove difficult to come by at Arsenal once again in 2022/23.
Saliba himself, meanwhile, was keen to reiterate his commitment to the Marseille cause in mid-December, in confirming:
‘I’m on loan. But I pretend I’m there for many years. I’m not thinking about returning to Arsenal [right now]. I give myself to Marseille. I don’t think about what will happen afterwards.’
In turn, amid rumoured interest on the part of the Ligue 1 giants in making their temporary defensive star’s move to the club permanent, those of an Arsenal persuasion still hopeful of seeing Saliba back in the club’s colours next season were understandably beginning to express concern.
Such supporters, however, need not fret.
That’s if the latest reports doing the rounds in the media are anything to go by, anyway.
As per English outlet The Mirror, citing sources in France, the Arsenal hierarchy have sent a crystal clear message to their Marseille counterparts when it comes to Saliba’s future – that the defender is, under no circumstances, available for a permanent transfer this summer.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) January 13, 2022
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Premier League table
|4||West Ham United||21||12||37|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||19||0||27|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||16|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||9|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||8|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||8|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||8|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||8|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||8|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||7|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||7|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||7|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||7|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||6|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||6|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||6|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||6|
|Cornet, Maxwel||Burnley FC||6|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Salisu, Mohammed||Southampton FC||0||6|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||6|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||6|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||5|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||6|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||6|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||6|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||1||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||5|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||0||5|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||0||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||1||4|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||0||5|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||5|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||5|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||5|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||5|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||9|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||8|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||7|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||5|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||4|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||4|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||4|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||4|
|Redmond, Nathan||Southampton FC||4|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||3|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||3|