Edu repeat of Gnabry transfer fiasco will have major positive effect on Saliba’s Arsenal future


There is a predicament brewing amongst the Arsenal ranks at the impending sale of Konstantinos Mavropanos being too small a price tag, however, it could open the door for William Saliba to earn a first-team spot.

The Frenchman has yet to feature in a senior competitive match for Arsenal as the 20-year-old currently learns his trade on loan at Marseille, his third temporary stint away from the Emirates Stadium after joining for a fee in the region of £27m.

Another loanee is Mavropanos, the 23-year-old is currently in his second season on loan in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart and already has two goals this season, the latest coming during the weekend win over TSG Hoffenheim.

The Greek international made his debut for the Gunners in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United three years ago and has been out on loan three times, seemingly out of favour with Mikel Arteta.

Recent reports confirmed that should Die Roten survive relegation, they will pay the obligatory €3m price tag for the ball-playing defender, whilst if they allow him to leave they may be forced to rue his departure in a similar vein as Serge Gnabry’s.

Comparisons were made on The Arsenal Way with Liverpool’s transfer model as well as Chelsea’s which has been praised for cashing in on fringe players with the recent example of Marc Guehi springing to mind.

Umar Choudry said on the podcast: I think it’s really cheap when you look at it and you think of the player, how well the player’s doing for Stuttgart so in terms of the fee, I think the fee we could be doing much, much better.

“When you look at Liverpool and how well they’ve done to get bargain deals even Chelsea when they sold Marc Guehi to Crystal Palace they got £20m for him and you’re thinking £20m for a player who’s not really played a Premier League game for Chelsea and Mavropanos did play Premier League games for Arsenal against Leicester City although he did get sent off but he made a good start to his Arsenal career.

“But since Arteta come, he doesn’t seem to of rated him so in terms of if he could have stayed, I think we’ve settled down on a good defence currently, we have a good foundation defensively I think Arteta’s got his players so there would be no point keeping Mavropanos around if Arteta doesn’t think he’s the right type of centre-back he will just be wasting his potential and wasting our time as well.

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“In terms of defensively, we’ve got a good foundation, we’ve got Ben White, who we’ve brought in, Gabriel they seem to be forming a good partnership in the backline, we’ve still got Saliba who could be coming back.

“I think in terms of defensively I think we’re settled but the fee I don’t understand, it’s just too little. I can see Mavropanos going to someone like maybe Bayern Munich who knows, a couple of years at Stuttgart could be building the foundations to go to Bayern Munich.

“He’s got that foundation now to play week-in, week-out in the Bundesliga so you’re definitely going to see teams and what Sven Mislintat said about him, he reminds him of Lucio, so it’s a good comparison but the fee I don’t rate.”

The original loan fee for the 23-year-old was £500,000 but he seems to be enjoying life in North Germany after adding to his tally for the season following his goal in the narrow defeat to SC Freiburg where he thundered home on the half-volley to restore an element of hope in what proved to be a 2-3 loss.

Since signing in 2019, Saliba has only featured for the Gunners youth teams and following the spending spree in the summer which saw Arsenal spend £148m on incomings, including £50m on Ben White.

The move for White raised question-marks, not least for the price tag but in the 23-year-old, Arteta was getting a defender with Premier League experience whilst Saliba sharpens his tools in France.

He’s learning his trade in an intense Ligue 1 league as Marseille scrap for points and also in a tough Europa League group gaining invaluable European experience.

“It feels like we’ve been saying this for a couple of seasons now. It’s just waiting for that time for Mikel Arteta thinks right he’s ready now and again from what I’ve been reading and clips on social media Saliba looks like he’s been having a solid season again,” Chris Davison said.

“He didn’t have a great match from what I saw but apart from that he’s looking good showing his potential, showing his qualities and I just think what else can happen? We’ve got Holding, Chambers, one of them leaves why can’t Saliba just come in and be given a chance, he can’t do much worse surely that’s the view I’ve had on it.

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“I appreciate the fact he’s still young you’ve got to protect him and if he’s not fully ready you’ve got to be careful because it can make or break a player at such a young age throwing him into the Premier League, one mistake and the fans get on his back and their confidence just falls away.

“I appreciate we’ve had to be careful with him and I think pre-season I don’t see why he couldn’t be given more of a chance to impress and we could’ve got to see a bit more of him but it’s done now.

“He’s back on loan again this season with Marseille so we just have to hope he keeps continues developing, continues to flourish and show his potential and he puts himself in a strong position come the end of the season where it leaves Arteta thinking ‘I think he’s more ready, we’ll give him a chance’ and gives the fans a bit more of a chance to judge him as well to see what he’s made of.

“I think if he doesn’t for whatever reason end up in the first team and being a regular for Arsenal after we brought him in for £25-26m, I’ll be sitting here scratching my head because it wouldn’t make any sense and we all know the potential and we all know from a lot of people who watch him and know him well just how highly rated he is and how we’ve got a gem on our hands.

“So it’s important to handle it the right way, important to be patient but now hopefully that patience is going to pay off at the end of the season when we see him a bit more next campaign.”

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Source by Football London

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