Saliba confirms there is ‘always a chance’ his Arsenal exit could become permanent

William Saliba during a France friendly

William Saliba does not know what his future holds but admits there is “always a chance” he could stay at Marseille instead of returning to Arsenal.

William Saliba has followed a strange career pathway since Arsenal signed him in 2019. He is yet to make an appearance for his parent club, who have sent him away on loan three times. Given they spent a reported £27m on him, their decisions have been questioned.

The defender’s form during his latest spell away from the Emirates Stadium has further heightened the focus on Arsenal’s decisions. Saliba has cemented his place with Marseille and became a full France international earlier this year.

Arsenal must therefore make a decision about his future when his loan spell expires. They did not give Marseille the option to buy him permanently within the loan deal, but negotiations could yet take place.

Saliba is under contract with Arsenal until 2024. Therefore, they must decide whether to reintegrate him, sell him while his stock is high or loan him out again.

If he was to return, he would be competing with Benjamin White and Gabriel Magalhaes for a place in their starting backline. It is unlikely Saliba would want to settle for a place on the bench after amassing 44 appearances for Marseille this season.

Indeed, he may have already found his home and could leave Arsenal without ever playing for them if OM can sign him.

Saliba is not yet clear what the plan is. But in a new interview, he hints he could stay with Marseille, who have developed him as a player.

“There is always a chance,” he told Le Parisien.

“I do not hide that I am very happy in Marseille.

“I have developed, I have passed a milestone. If I make it into France’s squad it’s thanks to Marseille, because there is a lot of visibility.

“They are a very big club with a lot of pressure. But when you’re good there are a lot of good things that happen to you.

“We will see in May or June depending on the discussions. Today, my future, I don’t know what it is.”

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