It has been an incredibly strange situation regarding William Saliba and his place as an Arsenal player, with the club having seemingly brought him into the team to be one of their solutions to the defensive problems that they have had over the years.
Having signed from St-Etienne, he was loaned back to the French club despite having cost the Gunners a transfer fee of around £27 million in July 2019.
He then spent the second half of last season on loan at OGC Nice as he continued to struggle for game time under Mikel Arteta and it would seem his future at the Emirates Stadium is all-but-over as he is thought to be heading back to France for a third loan spell.
This time, reports from The Athletic are claiming that he could be about to join Olympique Marseille after turning down a number of moves from clubs all around Europe, including French champions LOSC Lille and Premier League Newcastle United.
Indeed, the 20-year-old will have hoped his impressive performances for Nice last season would have given him the opportunity to play for Arsenal this season, especially as the north London outfit have managed to offload a number of defensive options and perhaps require some depth in the centre-back position. Indeed, many would have been heading to Max Free Bets to get the best bonuses they could to place a bet on the French defender finally getting an opportunity.
Arteta currently has Gabriel and Rob Holding to pick from at the moment, however a deal for Brighton and Hove Albion’s Ben White looks set to be completed, which will mean Saliba could struggle once again to get into the first team.
The French defender, who recently pulled out of the France squad for the upcoming Olympic Games, will want to continue to impress in Ligue 1 with Olympique Marseille as he will want to try and show Arsenal that he should be playing at the Emirates Stadium and not the Stade Velodrome.
There will be many Arsenal fans who will find the entire situation rather strange as they will have expected to have seen something from a player that cost the club almost £30 million, but his career certainly appears to be over in north London.
Of course, he was signed by Unai Emery and the Spaniard has since been dismissed from the club, so there is every chance that Arteta never had plans for the defender. That would seem to be the case given their pursuit of Ben White and the fact that Saliba is yet to play a senior game for the Gunners.
Hopefully Arsenal will not be cursing the move later in the season.