Sans Saliba, should Arsenal seek out and sign a new CB?


William Saliba’s injury continues to sap our strength; we’ve now stumbled to those three consecutive draws without him, and Arteta has suggested that the Frenchman is “not there yet to start to throw him into the pitch at the level the sessions demand to compete.” If he wasn’t fit to face Southampton, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be fit to face Man City, not after missing the last five matches. His absence has only highlighted his importance, but is it time to consider a replacement?

Of course, the club exercised an option to extend his contract another year, but there haven’t been any recent updates on contract talks for an actual renewal. With clubs like PSG sniffing around (I thought they had become the retirement club for ageing superstarts…), it’s urgent that we get the man to sign sooner rather than later. Our leverage, sadly, has declined along with our performance; Saliba and his agent Niang Djibril will surely have noticed how much we depend on him in attack as well as in defense. He’ll expect a huge wage bump, up from his modest £40k/week.

I don’t know about you, but I get a bit uneasy when the club activates a contract extension. It feels to me like contract negotiations are not progressing as smoothly as they should. If we hadn’t done this back in December, Saliba would have been free to negotiate a new deal elsewhere. At the time, Saliba did say, ” “I am so happy here,” and he has to have enjoyed his performances. The look on his face during the Southampton match showed how invested he still is in our current campaign. Still, for as much as we pin our hopes to such sentiments, it’s money that talks…and PSG have more of that than perhaps any other club around.

Would Saliba supplant the 37 year old Sergio Ramos, who still anchors the PSG defense’s three-man backline? Would he find himself a second choice behind Ramos and Marquinhos? There’s also Presnel Kimpembe, who’s come up through their academy. Joining PSG would certainly offer Saliba a fat wage packet and a path to guaranteed silverware. Is he the kind of player who’d be content to be a passenger on that luxury cruise, or is he the kind of player who wants to fight and to build a squad from the ground up? We’ve seen the wrong answer to that numerous times over the years.

Let’s hope we get the right answer sooner rather than later…

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1 thought on “Sans Saliba, should Arsenal seek out and sign a new CB?

  1. palladio43

    We do not know what this back injury is and Arsenal have not disclosed much. What seemed only a muscle strain seems to have become, if not always was, a more serious
    issue, I e , a herniated disc or the equivalent. Will he need surgery, lots of therapy, or just rest. Is it being kept a secret in the hope they can get a good offer for him or will they be obligated to disclose the matter anyway? Regardless, they were weakened once Tomiyasu went out although it would seem with Tierney, White, Gabriel, and, maybe Kiwior (why is he on the squad if we barely use him ?) and who else, we could muddle through, but for the long term it seems there needs to be a focus on defenders who are not injury prone, I e., Tierney, Tomiyasu, etc., as well as addressing what happens as some of our midfielders age, I e., Xhaka, even if we do get Rice (assuming Chelsea or someone else swoops in or his price gets too steep).


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