Ian Wright has questioned Arsenal’s decision to loan out William Saliba following Mikel Arteta’s surprise team selection against Manchester City.
With £50million summer signing Ben White unavailable after a positive Covid-19 test and Gabriel Magalhaes being eased back into action following a knee injury, the Gunners manager was without what many fans consider his best central defensive pairing for the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
As a result, Arteta opted to switch from a back four to a back five against City.
However, instead of going with Pablo Mari alongside Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, the Spaniard sprung a surprise by naming Sead Kolasniac as one of his three central defenders.
Conceding five goals shows the gamble backfired, but Wright has expressed his concern about how Kolasinac – linked with a summer move away from Arsenal – can be considered a better option than Saliba and even asked why £27m was spent on the Frenchman.
“You’ve got to show [Riyad] Mahrez down the line, Kieran Tierney lets him come inside and look how easy that is for Ferran Torres to go in there, in between the centre-backs, no-one is picking him up. Too easy,” the Arsenal legend told Premier League Productions.
“I think between the goalkeepers and the central defenders it’s all too easy.
“And I’m supposed to believe that Kolasinac – someone that they’re trying to get rid of – is better than William Saliba?
“Saliba, who is out on loan and apparently not at the standard [required for this level]. So if he’s not at the standard to play in this team – and Kolasinac can play – why have we bought him?!
“Because if Kolasinac can play in front of him, what’s going on?! Why have we bought him?”
To Wright’s point, question marks over the decision to loan out Saliba once again will be asked following the defender’s impressive performance for Marseille just hours after his parent club were humiliated.
As seen in the Tweet above, the 20-year-old was dominant in defence as Marseille recorded a 3-1 win over his former side Saint-Etienne.
Amid fears that Saliba won’t ever get a chance under Arteta at Arsenal, some fans on Reddit have been reacting to his latest performance.
Echo361 said: “If this guy becomes world class and we let him slip away I’ll never forgive Arteta.”
Rekyht said: “Think the ship has sailed tbh, Saliba will want to move on.”
AdmiralClassy said: “We all know what happens right? Saliba will come back to us next year, kill it in the premier league and then we won’t be able to negotiate a contract extension so he’ll leave for free or for a minimal fee.”
Source by Football London