Saliba threatens Arsenal with transfer request over regular playing time

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By Martin Graham | 16th Jul 2022

William Saliba wants to play for France at the World Cup and has asked for regular playing time, or he would make a transfer request. The 21-year-old defender has two years left on his Arsenal contract.

Arsenal have done good business in the transfer market. The Gunners have signed midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto, Marquinhos from Sao Paulo and Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City. They have given their fans something to cheer about and raise hopes for next season.

The headache for Mikel Arteta is gelling his squad together and helping them find a rhythm that would produce results. The Spaniard galvanized his troops last season and were whiskers away from landing a Champions League spot but were beaten to it by Tottenham.

With the squad brimming with confidence and ready to take the season head-on, a new headache has surfaced for Mikel Arteta. It is no secret that he can’t keep all his players happy, but one is particularly unhappy with how his Arsenal career has panned out. William Saliba is dissatisfied with his Arsenal career and has threatened to leave if he does not get regular playing time.

Saliba ready to quit Arsenal

How does Arteta solve a problem like William Saliba? The French defender feels hard done by and has every reason to be disgruntled. Since joining Arsenal in 2019, the French defender has not had a look in and feels Arsenal might not be the place for him. The defender has his future ahead of him but wants to get cracking with it.

Saliba has not kicked a ball in anger for Arsenal and seems ready to leave the Emirates. The defender wants to know his place within the team and is prepared to request Arsenal let him go if not guaranteed a starting spot under Arteta.

From a rookie still wet under the nose, Saliba has grown immensely and has bagged plenty of experience as he developed his game. He spent the last three seasons on loan to Marseille and showed he could hold his own.

For the 2021/22 season, Saliba proved with his performances at Marseille to be one of the best defenders in Ligue 1. The defender is asking for better treatment which amounts to a starting place at Arsenal.

According to the Independent, the youngster believes his performances at Marseille are enough to guarantee him a regular spot at Arsenal.

Why the urgency?

One will wonder why a 21-year-old rookie like Saliba demands a starting place in the Arsenal setup.  For one, the French defender feels he is good enough to be in the line-up. Secondly, his urgency seems to come from being told he stands a chance of making Les Bleus squad to the Qatar World Cup in November. The assurance comes with regular playing time.

Saliba is currently with the Gunners on their pre-season tour in the United States. It is an opportunity to prove to Arteta that he is worthy of being in the starting eleven.

The Frenchman is prepared to turn his back on a new contract if he does not get regular playing time, with his position strengthened by the interest of Marseille and Atletico Madrid. Both clubs are keen on signing the French defender.

While on loan at Marseille, Saliba made 52 appearances in all competitions and helped the Ligue 1 side keep 20 clean sheets.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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