Okay, so the news isn’t exactly 100% official yet, but the news from the Ornstein Oracle is that Saliba has pet pen to paper on a new four-year contract. After prolonged talks sparked fears among the Arsenal faithful, fears that were further stoked by rumours of interest from PSG, the news comes as a massive relief. Saliba was after all an absolute rock in the back, and he was sorely missed during those last 11 matches.
We’re still awaiting details, but one of the apparent sticking points centered around image rights. With that sorted, we can all heave a massive collective sigh of relief. Many of us are still haunted by the ghoulish memories of key players flitting off at the first sign of interest from another club and, even after seeing Martinelli, Ramsdale, and Saka sign new contracts, those memories continue to skulk around. We’re seeing how much these young players believe in Arteta and how much they trust the process; they want to stay. Just as important, their belief speaks volumes to players we’re pursuing.
This is also fantastic work from Arteta, Edu, and Richard Garlick. They are apparently relentless in their work sorting players’ contracts. They’re inspiring respect among agents around the world, and that greases the skids considerably (and spares us the sordid alternative of greasing palms). Consider the plaudits that West Ham owner David Sullivan lavished on our brain trust for their tact in their pursuit of Declan Rice. They’re slaying those old memories of us as a selling club with no ambition. They’re signaling to the world just how ambitious we are but are doing so in a dignified, measured way.
They seem to know that we have to build on this season’s thrillling potential and disappointing denouement. Getting key players like Saliba to commit their best years to this project is a large part of our resurrection. Declan, Moises, Victor, et. al., are you watching this all unfold?