William Saliba makes untimely transfer admission amid Arsenal’s centre-back crisis for Newcastle

William Saliba has said once again that he’s unsure where he’ll be playing next season, with the Gunners currently facing a centre-back crisis amid the end-of-season run-in

Arsenal loanee William Saliba has said that he is still unsure whether he’ll be playing in Ligue 1 or returning to Arsenal to compete for a first-team place next season.

Saliba was awarded the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season award over the weekend following a stellar 2021/22 campaign in France. The 21-year-old has played nearly every minute of the league season for Les Olympiens, keeping 13 clean sheets over 36 appearances. He has helped the side reach third so far, level on points with Monaco in second, the final Champions League spot, with one game left to play and just four goals separating the two.

The Frenchman’s displays earned him a senior national team call-up too, making two appearances for Les Bleus back in March. It’s no small feat, with the loan move clearly working wonders for his progression.

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Amidst his impressive form however, there’s still uncertainty over his future. football.london understands the plan is for the Gunners to open preliminary talks regarding a new contract towards the end of his loan spell, but Saliba has once again reiterated that he’s unsure about where his future lies.

“It’s an honour, a source of pride. I dedicate this trophy to my team-mates, my club and the supporters,’ he said at Sunday’s awards ceremony in Paris,” as cited by the Daily Mail. “Did I play my last match with OM? I don’t know. The future will tell us. The most important thing is to confirm this good season by qualifying for the Champions League. Afterwards, we’ll see.”

Unfortunately, his transfer admission serves as a bit of an untimely reminder to Mikel Arteta and Arsenal fans. With Gabriel Magalhaes a doubt for Monday night’s game with Newcastle United after picking up an injury in the North London Derby, the Gunners are enduring a bit of a centre-back crisis for their last two games of the Premier League season.

Rob Holding’s sending off in the 3-0 defeat to Spurs means he’s suspended for the clash. Thus, with Benjamin White the only fully established defender fit, the Gunners could be forced to start an inexperienced centre-half against the Magpies.

Two wins in the next week will see Arsenal qualify for the Champions League next season, but the pressure is definitely on Arteta and his side. Let’s see if they can handle it.

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