Campbell: Arteta should replace departing Arsenal man with Saliba

James Holland
Saliba Arteta Arsenal

Former Arsenal player Kevin Campbell thinks Mikel Arteta should bring William Saliba into the first team to replace Shkodran Mustafi.

Saliba has great potential but is being used sparingly by the Spanish manager. He is yet to feature in the Premier League this season.

Mustafi, meanwhile, has played seven times in all competitions for Arsenal. That’s despite the belief that he will leave the Emirates once his contract expires in June.

FEATURE: Leeds fly in our Premier League winners and losers

Campbell believes Saliba’s progress would continue if he were to replace Mustafi in the squad.

The former striker told Football Insider: “Apparently Saliba has made great strides in training.

“Mustafi is going to leave at the end of the season, that is a done deal from both sides, and Saliba needs minutes. So why not give him the minutes that Mustafi is getting?

“To me it makes no sense. I like to think Arteta would use Saliba in the Europa League and FA Cup games we have coming up, rather than sending him out on loan.”

Saliba’s situation at Arsenal currently is a curious one. Arteta seems reluctant to put him in the first team in any competition, despite his progress in training and his form last campaign.

He made 17 appearances for St Etienne in 2019/20 during his loan spell. Club captain Mathieu Debuchy, a former Gunner himself, has revealed his admiration for Saliba. He also said they would be willing to let Saliba return once again.

Campbell’s recommendation to Arteta could work. It would give Saliba a chance to prove himself, without risking anything in the Premier League.

But it looks like club chiefs are intent on sending the Frenchman out on loan. They are apparently confident on his future at the club and will put him in the fold next season.

In the mean time, they are willing to sanction a loan move during the January window.