Ian Wright questioned why Arsenal spent nearly £30million on William Saliba 13 months ago after his old side lost to Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta used a makeshift backline to defeat the Gunners 5-0 at the Etihad. Saliba had just started his third loan spell at Marseille and hadn’t played for Arsenal yet.
Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, and Cedric were Arteta’s back-five in Manchester. Two of these players no longer play for the club, while only Tierney does.
It led to disastrous results, prompting Wright to criticize his former team’s handling of Saliba. The Gunners legend couldn’t hide his confusion over one of the most sought-after young defenders being loaned out while less talented options thrived at Arsenal.
“Am I supposed to believe that Kolasinac, whom they want to trade, is better than William Saliba?” Premier League productions were questioned. “Saliba, who’s on loan, isn’t up to par.
“If [Saliba] can’t play, why did we buy him when Kolasinac can? Why can Kolasinac play in front of him? We bought him?
A year later, no one questions why Arsenal bought Saliba, as the young Frenchman has adapted to the Premier League with ridiculous ease.
At 20, the defender has made a place for himself in the Gunners’ backline and is unlikely to be replaced soon.
Saliba has scored twice, first with a left-footed strike against Bournemouth and then with a near-post header against Brentford.
Due to three loan spells, he has just two years left on his Arsenal contract. Saliba’s club future has sparked rumors.
Frenchman insists he’s happy where he is. Saliba told Sky Sports, “I’m at home.” London, the club, everything is great. I’m comfortable here.