Arsenal fans are desperate for Willimba Saliba to be given a chance in the first team next season and the club’s new kit launch appears to have dropped a major clue in regards to his future
Arsenal have dropped a major hint in regards to William Saliba’s future as the club launched their new home kit this Thursday.
The Gunners released their striking red and white strip for next season, which they will don for the first time against Everton on Sunday. The Emirates faithful have waxed lyrical about the new-look design, as well as the club’s decision to give Gabriel Martinelli the number 11 shirt.
The Brazilian will swap out his old number 35 for 11 next campaign after a breakthrough season for the Gunners, where he has become a regular under Mikel Arteta. There were a few other notable tidbits in relation to squad numbers, in particular Saliba, who is set to return from his loan spell at Marseille. The speculation surrounding his future has been relentless given how well he has performed in Ligue 1.
Arsenal fans are desperate for Saliba to be given a chance in the first team, but the fact he has yet to make a competitive appearance after the club shelled out £27million three years ago continues to hang over him with claims his future lies elsewhere.
Arteta’s stance is that he is a part of the club’s long-term future, however, and Arsenal’s kit launch would suggest exactly that as the number two strip has been left vacant. Hector Bellerin wore the shirt before he left for Real Betis on loan but it seems he has not retained it which means the Spaniard is likely to depart the club before the end of the transfer window
Meanwhile, Saliba donned the number two all season for Marseille and as Ben White now wears the number four shirt he used to occupy at the Emirates, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he made the number two his own next season.
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Saliba, who picked up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award on Sunday, has been coy on his future at the Emirates, however, given his lack of playing time and says he doesn’t know if he’s played his last match for Marseille.
“It’s an honour, a source of pride. I dedicate this trophy to my teammates, my club and the supporters,” he said at the awards ceremony in Paris, “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.”