Per Mertesacker makes impassioned plea to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to ‘test’ William Saliba

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William Saliba at an awards ceremony Credit: PA Images
William Saliba at an awards ceremony Credit: PA Images

Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker has pleaded with Mikel Arteta to “test” William Saliba this season.

The talented centre-back has yet to make his competitive debut for Arsenal. Despite signing from Saint-Etienne a fee in the region of £27m in July 2019, Saliba has not yet be afforded a chance in the first team.

Loans have been seen as the way forward for the France centre-back. And he has performed admirably in temporary spells with Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille.

Both Nice and Marseille were keen to keep the 21-year-old, but Saliba has returned to Arsenal this summer. He will link up with the Gunners’ squad this week after getting an extended spell off due to his international commitments.

TEAMtalk previously revealed Arsenal were finally planning to integrate Saliba into their plans starting this summer back in April.

And writing in his column for Caught Offside, Fabrizio Romano stated the plan remains for Saliba to stay in north London this season.

In fact talks with Arsenal and Saliba’s camp are believed to be underway regarding a contract extension.

The player’s agent Niang Djibril uploaded a teasing video on Monday at the club’s London Colney training ground. That prompted suggestions that a new deal could be in the pipeline.

Saliba has ‘made his mark’ 

And according to Mertesacker there is no reason why Saliba cannot feature regularly under Arteta this season.

He told Hayters: “What William has done in Marseille is magnificent. So for us to really test him this summer and see what’s best for him.

“But he has clearly made his mark with his young age with his playing in a major league in Europe and been one of the best players in Europe. So why not use him?”

Former Gunners centre-back Mertesacker also believes a move for Gabriel Jesus will prove to be good business.

“We convinced him to come fairly early in the transfer window, not wait too long. I think we are proactive.

“We’re making our points clear to the player, families, agent and by the looks of it we’ve got the right arguments and players are willing to come to us to bring us back to the Champions League and where we belong,” added Mertesacker.

The article Per Mertesacker makes impassioned plea to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to ‘test’ William Saliba appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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