Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?

by .

A lot has happened over the past 24 hours. The PR machine is whirring into action and it is super clear that the club wants you to know that:

  • KSE spend money
  • Edu is a man with a plan
  • Arteta is highly rated and his performance unlocked budget we didn’t have

We still don’t know the exact details of the cash injection/accounting trick, but it seems clear from the media that we had some help from our owners. KSE seem much keener to be seen as important to the process these days, a far cry from the years when Wenger was running the show. This is a good thing. KSE clubs are doing better these days. Well, the Nuggets are at least. Something must have clicked for them, because it now it looks like they realise investing in their teams can reap huge dividends.

The second reason I like the investment is that it seems to be tied to the impression the new staff has made. Mikel Arteta is a young manager, many thought that he was hired so the club could go cheap, but that FA Cup win and back door entry to the Europa League clearly gave him some cred points with the Kroenke family. The messaging has been clear, the Partey signing was a thumbs up to the progress. I really like that, it’s premature, but it seems the club already has an eye on City and Barca coming for their star at some point. If he has another good year, expect a renewed deal, and hopefully all the money from our CERTAIN TOP 4 FINISH, RIGHT?

It’s also worth noting that, although fans savage the Kroenke’s for not spending money, it doesn’t correlate with reality.

We’re the 10th highest net spenders in Europe 2010-19. Staggering, right? The money hasn’t been the problem, it’s who we’ve let spend it (a well-trodden narrative if you’ve been reading this site).

That shifts me onto phase two of the thank-you tour. Arsenal PR has been VERY keen to make sure people know Edu actually does things outside solitaire in the canteen. He has been front and centre over the last few weeks. He’s talking about his plan, he’s telling everyone he got the club excited about it, he’s very proud he delivered on it.

I am pleased with the way we worked because we are facing a very difficult situation with Covid and in the market, everyone is quite worried about the future, the planning, whether they have the money or not, the revenue, so it is quite challenging but the way we did it was amazing.

Edu and Arteta have hired players with more than just legs (As Edu actioned), they think they’ve hired winners. They wanted players to reshape the culture of the club. Willian will always look like a weird deal to me, but when you look at it through the lens of ‘winner’, you can’t argue. Partey, winner. Luiz, winner.

If you see Willian, he brings us experience and a very special physicality in terms of speed. If you see Gabriel, he gives us a lot of physicality and presence. Dani, quality. Thomas, physicality, quality and mentally he is very strong. But in the end if you see all these players we brought to the club, they are very good here (points to legs), but they are better here (points to head) which for me is very important because when you talk to the players, they have a lot of ambition, they are excited and they are hungry to win a title again. This, for me, is important to have in the players to not only be good here (points to legs), but good here (points to head). And they are.

What I do like about this Edu PR tour is that he could easily claim the glory, but he doesn’t.

It is not only Edu, it is not only Mikel Arteta, we have a lot of people around us in the club that it is important to mention as well, financial, legal, medical, recruitment, our loan manager, but we cannot forget of course the support, of which I received a lot of, from the board and the owners. Without them, we cannot do much and I feel really comfortable with the way we are working and communicating together, we are talking almost every day right now so that is brilliant. I tell them with that possibility to have that type of relationship, I feel much stronger. That is the way they give to me and to Mikel as well, so that is the way we are working right now.

Bar talking about himself in the third person, I do like leaders that pump their team. There’s a lovely pic of him celebrating them on Insta Stories. We’ve lacked that at Arsenal over the years. Empowering talent to make moves. I like that. It’s basic, but smart.

I also assume Edu wants to get ahead of me telling everyone there are questions marks over how good he is. He seems very, very happy with how things are going… I couldn’t be more pleased for him. He passed the first test this summer, i.e., no one is crying over Raul. We don’t need him and we’ve just proved that under the toughest footballing circumstances in our history.

This was a good window. The club made purposeful moves that can all be justified. We’ll have to forget about January. Focus on what we’ve seen in the last two months and it all makes sense. We’ve signed experienced winners, elite young talent, and we’ve taken a chance on 5-6 under 23s that might make it.

I am finding it VERY tough to be a blogger that has nothing to moan about.

Though I do find it interesting that there are so many spreadsheet merchants upset about Partey. I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy, but honestly, if we’ve been tracking Partey since his Almeria days, and our new recruitment team thinks he’s good enough to put their reps on the line with their paymasters, you’d have to imagine they might be looking at better data than the folk on the internet.

He’s a class signing. I am STILL in shock we did it. Partey is going to be fucking immense for us.

The club omitted Ozil from the Europa League squad along with Sokratis and Saliba.

He is finished. There are stories doing the rounds that we’re trying to buy him out of his deal. The club is trying to get a deal, he’s not budging. What a humiliating way to exit the building, being a petulant child. So ungraceful. He’ll soon realise that his power is linked to his age, then I suspect he’ll regret his last 3 years.

There’s also a lot of consternation about William Saliba. I don’t have an in on this at all. However, I do know two things. 1) If he were ready, he’d be playing. 2) Arteta doesn’t have a vendetta against Raul signings.

I have some thoughts on this. Firstly, Ligue 1 has a lot of great players, but it lacks the same power and pace we have in the Premier League. That’s not a debate, I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch. Young players flourish there because there’s a lower level of competition.

I think it’s clear that he’s not physically up to the standard. He’s literally a teenager. There are very few teenage centre backs playing regularly anywhere in the world. Factor in that he was injured a lot last year, which might be linked to his body not adapting well to his huge frame. Jack was overplayed in his teenage years and now he’s being let go from West Ham in his twenties. Being overplayed at a young age isn’t great for you.

People seem to have taken offence to him being loaned to the Championship (if it happens). Now, there are two reasons this might be the case. We could have messed up the registration back to France. Or, Per Mertesacker, Ben Knapper, and Edu might reckon the things he’s lacking as a player right now are better serviced in the league below the Premiership. The Championship is incredibly fast, it’s beastly from an aggression perspective, and… it’s in England. What better place to toughen up and learn the lingo?

It’s a bit of uneducated opinion to say Championship football is a shit standard. Eze, Watkins, and Leeds are looking pretty damn ok so far this season. Maddison, Joe Gomez, and Andy Robertson all started there. I don’t think Arsenal fans would sniff at Buendia or Benrahma if they joined. William Saliba could do a lot worse than Brentford this season.

Ok, I am now off. Have a great day. Big love x

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

407 Responses to “Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. MidwestGun

    There’s no need to tiptoe around it, if Saliba is being considered for a loan it’s because the club/Arteta do not see him as good enough to be a genuine help this season
    Exactly.. and that’s what Arteta said in his press conference.

    “For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal injuries and also with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year.

    “He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year for him to have the player we want in our future.”

    Arteta dosen’t feel he is ready immediately.. it’s not about his judgment of his talent level.

  2. Dunchirado

    Some of you here don’t really know what transition year means in football, transition year Is more than playing just six matches in europa league, the type of transition Jack Wilshere had at Bolton

  3. MidwestGun

    Clearly, there are people who think we should throw him in the deep end and let him sink or swim because he is the next Varane or whatever.. I don’t think that’s a wise move given all that’s happened. And definitely risky with a big investment.

  4. Karsa

    It’s pretty clear.

    We loaned Saliba back for a season of development.

    Circumstances – Injury/Covid – meant that he didn’t have that season of development..

    He can have it now, hopefully.

  5. PhD2020

    englandsbestOctober 9, 2020 12:54:30
    Wenger failed to bring out the best in Jack or Theo. It’s a simple as that. If they had a fault, it was their over-eagerness to please him.
    Total bollocks.

    I think you should be in the stocks and pelted with tomatoes and sprayed with cow urine.

  6. AFC Forever

    “To lose parents happens to everyone, one day.”

    “Maybe it’s not the case for you ?We have to deal with it, and no matter at what age it happens.

    Listen you vile cunt. I lost my Mum in June and you’re calling me a fucking moron for being upset about it.

    You are a such a cunt I can’t find the words to tell you what I would do if I met you face to face you disgusting human being. Your poor parents having a brain dead, disgusting, inhumane tosser like you as a sughuman.

  7. Radio Raheem

    It’s a bit of uneducated opinion to say Championship football is a shit standard.


    Well said

  8. TheBayingMob

    “He’s a class signing. I am STILL in shock we did it. Partey is going to be fucking immense for us.”

    Ye but you also quite publicly shot your wad over Pepe joining, only to talk about how we overpaid for average recently.

    I think at the time you headlined it the ‘biggest signing of the decade’ and ‘This is basically us signing Eden Hazard of 2019.’

    Reputations certainly go on the line for signings, but you could sign Messi and he might not work out for you, there are a lot of different factors. He has all the attributes tho so hopefully he will work out to be what we’ve been crying out for since the Vieira / Gilberto years.

  9. AFC Forever


    “Highburybellend proving once again how shit he is with sarcasm. Literally just here to comment on other posters, boring bastard”

    I let the troll get to me; still raw for me I guess. Apologies.

  10. Champagne charlie

    Can’t get on board with anyone talking down the Championship for a 19 year old to cut his teeth in England.

    Mental view to take frankly, I think Nelson, Willock, Nketiah would all be better players for a season in the championship at a club pushing for promotion. The pressure is immense, the matches are incredibly competitive, the football is quick and at times brutal. If you stand out there as a kid it sets a good foundation for you to make a transition into the prem.

  11. TheBayingMob

    I think we could have done worse than look down the divisions for some better defenders over the years. You can’t understate the speed and physicality of the Championship, there’s some gash there definitely, but there is Ligue 1 and La Liga also …

  12. Luteo Guenreira

    At 19 Graham was packing to begin his march toward Jerusalem as a foot soldier for the First Crusade. Pierre was a medic in the same unit, until he fell in love with a young boy with large eyes as they were passing through Turkey and went AWOL.

  13. TheBayingMob

    “At 19 Graham was packing to begin his march toward Jerusalem … ”

    Have I walked into the fucking twilight zone here!?

  14. Luteo Guenreira

    You really can’t let go of anything personal around here. Bamford getting roasted for 2 straight years for being the shittiest Harvard alumni ever taught me that lesson. As far as I’m concerned Don’s asshole is still bleeding.

    Keep it close to the vest, I am warning you the rest of us are vicious.

  15. Champagne charlie


    He’s a melt, you being emotive isn’t an issue – nor is that ever. Sorry about your mother, it may be inevitable for us all but it diminishes the impact not on iota so your reaction to such a comment is absolutely fair.

  16. AFC Forever

    Consider Artetas options:


    Now we know Saliba had a nasty injury and when you add the Pandemic curtailing the French league he hasn’t really had that many games to recover and be tested.. We either trust the professionals to make the right decision or we don’t. As Arteta works with the players daily, knows the fitness status of those due to return he is in a far better position than us to decide whether or not Saliba is ready for us. He has clearly decided not.

    Pedro makes a good point. The PL is a physical league that makes huge demands on the body, we all know that. he has just returned from a broken foot. Perhaps Arteta doesn’t want to take the risk which seems fair enough.

    It is funny how hypocritical fans can be. Everyone is going on about Wilshere being overplayed a t a young age but then criticising this decision.

    Now Van Dijk only came to the PL a few years ago, he wasn’t deemed ready physically yet he is a specimin. In fact he moved from Celtic to Southampton before ending up at Liverpool. He is now 28.

    So it is better to get a player ready to hit the ground running and have them prepared properly for the physical challenge playing CB in our league demands. And think it was a wise decision because at the moment we aren’t short in that position. Next season i expect a few to move on, which means we will need Saliba. And most importantly; he will be ready.

  17. Pedro

    CC, exactly, what is of more value… 6 starts with us, or 30 at Brentford with state of the art coaching?

    Think he’d come back in much better shape. He’ll also have better English.

  18. Captain Tierney


    What I meant is maybe the club dont want him to get depressed a la Mustafi because Arsenal fans are rabid. They’ll tear anyone down if they feel like. + He must already be in a vulnerable state mentally if the reports of his mother dying are true.
    Dont want a 19 yo going in a downward mental spiral.

    Keeping him out of the spotlight and allowing him to get his head right may not be the worst of ideas.

    I dont doubt his commitment or determination a bit. To me he looks like a full package. Someone who will lead our backline for years to come.

  19. AFC Forever


    “CC, exactly, what is of more value… 6 starts with us, or 30 at Brentford with state of the art coaching?Think he’d come back in much better shape. He’ll also have better English”


    To be honest, I don’t even know why anyone is making an issue out of it.

  20. AFC Forever

    “I don’t doubt his commitment or determination a bit. To me he looks like a full package. Someone who will lead our backline for years to come”

    He is very highly rated in France. It is completely logical to treat him how the club have. What is the point in him sitting on the bench, getting the odd game when he can be learning in the Championship and getting his fitness back. His English will improve too and he’ll find out just how fast and physical the English game is. He will come back a much better player than he is now and better prepared.

  21. MidwestGun

    The perceived issue is that people hate Holding and Luiz as players.. and think the future is Gabriel and Saliba and have been looking forward to that partnership. Ans they think Arteta won’t let it happen because of his love for Luiz and Holding I guess.

    But I really don’t think that is the reasons why if you look at it logically.

  22. Pedro

    AFC, I think the pandemic has made people weird.

    Getting irate that one of the best young coaches in the world sending a defender out on loan to get better is peak WTF.

    Most haven’t watched him play a full 90 either.

  23. AFC Forever


    You may be right.

    Funny isn’t it, Saliba comes into the team shows he is a bit rusty and not fully recovered from the broken foot and the same mob will be on his back. Some people can’t see the bigger picture and often they don’t want to.

  24. Luteo Guenreira

    “To be honest, I don’t even know why anyone is making an issue out of it.”

    Ultimately people need something to blame when things don’t go the exactly the way they planned or wished. Not many people take the time to ponder whether their original assessment of the situation may have been incorrect.

    I thought Saliba would play for us and be impactful much sooner than it looks like will actually happen. I came to that conclusion not because I watched him train or saw a lot of his matches, it was just what I assumed and wanted to be true due to the fact that he was so highly touted and cost as much as he did. But it looks like I was wrong about it.

    Judgment has to be reserved in regards to that transfer until we see what we actually have with him in an Arsenal shirt, if he turns into Van Dijk after a loan spell then it’s still amazingly good money spent. At the same time though if Spurs bought a £27m CB and had to loan him out for two straight years because he wasn’t deemed good enough, I’d be bantering the fuck out of them for it.

  25. Pedro

    Luteo, I’m just glad that Raul has gone. No doubt the player will come good, but dropping that sort of fee on someone that far of being ready was not good.

  26. AFC Forever


    “AFC, I think the pandemic has made people weird.”

    That did make me smile.

    It is really bizarre that people work themselves up into a state about literally nothing. Some people hate the sunny side of the street.

  27. SpanishDave

    Good piece on Dennis on the BBC web page.
    He worked very hard on his game off the pitch. If only some of the youngsters would do the same
    Wish he was with us in some capacity.

  28. AFC Forever


    There are mitigating factors.

    Saliba broke his foot and then the french league closed down early due to the pandemic. I suspect the club also expected to offload CB’s but again that wasn’t possible.

    These things are never as clearcut as they appear. You have to trust Arteta and his team.

  29. Marc


    “Luteo, I’m just glad that Raul has gone. No doubt the player will come good, but dropping that sort of fee on someone that far of being ready was not good.”

    If we hadn’t have got him and he’d gone to the Spud’s you’d be slagging Sanllehi off for not going after young prospects and only buying from people paying him backhanders.

  30. AFC Forever


    I think the problem is we are all debating hypotheticals.

    Saliba is very highly regarded and was deemed to be a future star. We probably took the opportunity whereas others didn’t. His broken foot was a nasty injury and a set back, not helped by the early curtailment of the League season in France. Buying any player is a risk it’s a bit devil you do, devil you don’t. Ultimately, I want my club to take a punt on young players, many have turned out to be fantastic buys in the past. We can’t turn back the clock so let’s hope the same is true for Saliba.

  31. Luteo Guenreira


    I understand the mitigating factors, but I also think if Saliba really was good enough right now there would be no way a good manager would loan out someone of that talent while keeping Holding or Sokratis. If he was good enough he’d be playing, that’s really it. I realize we were trying to get rid of players like Sok but just because you couldn’t get rid of them doesn’t mean you have to play him ahead of someone “better”.

    If injuries are a concern, I’d prefer he is watched over by our own medical staff without risk of exacerbating it while playing elsewhere. If mental health is an issue, I don’t think a loan spell away from his team and potentially isolated away from London will do much for his confidence or recovery.

    He’s going out for playing time. To get better. Which is fine. But the expectation was that he’d be ready to play for Arsenal by now. It may have been an unfair and misinformed expectation, but until this recent turn of events there was no real reason to think otherwise.

  32. Marc


    Not really – the player has huge potential and there’s always so much to banter the Spud’s about – stupid to pick one that might bite you in the arse at a future date.

  33. Marc


    Agree – we don’t know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. It could be anything from Arteta protecting a special talent to Arteta not being willing to risk a young player in a season where he’ll be fired if he doesn’t get top 4.

  34. Karsa

    Agree – we don’t know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. It could be anything from Arteta protecting a special talent to Arteta not being willing to risk a young player in a season where he’ll be fired if he doesn’t get top 4.


    We really don’t know most of the facts surrounding this. Speculation by some that it’s somehow linked to the Guendouzi situation is mind boggling.

  35. AFC Forever


    Yes agree. Sometime we need to accept that we are just fans. Which means we aren’t privy to the information required to conduct a well informed opinion. Everything is pure speculation.

    What we do know is that Saliba is very highly regarded in France, I produced evidence earlier today. We also know he broke his foot. Additionally, we know that he needed games to recover from his injury which he was unable to get dye to the pandemic. We know he lost a parent. We also know Arsenal have good cover with Pablo Mari, Chambers & Mustafi due back from injury & Gabriel, Holding & Luiz in possession of the shirt.

    I trust Arteta & his team.

  36. Luteo Guenreira

    I’m just saying, all those “he was injured, he’s grieving, he’s only 19, silly to write him off he’ll eventually come good, who knows what’s going on behind the scenes” points only sound like softer ways of saying “he’s not good enough right now” to me.

    I’m definitely not writing him off. Patience is fine and welcome. But there’s no need to pretend like the current state of events, if he really does go out on loan, was all part of the calculation. Cash strapped club spending £27m for a player that plays a position that needed immediate reinforcement and having him not playing that position in your club’s shirt for 2 years? That’s banter anyway you spin it.

    Like Pedro says this is more an indictment on Raul than the player, but players will be judged by their price tags. Always have been, this is nothing new. So far it’s not the return you expect from a £27m purchase, especially when that money was such a large portion of what the club had to work with, even up to this window.

  37. AFC Forever


    Fair enough. Perhaps he’s not good enough right now. Maybe he was bought with the future in mind or maybe he was in Artetas plans but the broken foot affected their decision.

    The point is we don’t know. We can debate it until we are blue in the face but it won’t change anything. As I have said, I have to trust the club know best.

  38. Marko

    There’s no need to tiptoe around it, if Saliba is being considered for a loan it’s because the club/Arteta do not see him as good enough to be a genuine help this season. That’s not Arteta’s fault, nor is it really Saliba’s

    I mean that’s a fair enough thing to say until you realize that Mustafi will get mins this season and Holding is a current starter. Way I see it keeping him around and giving him game time over certain people who are either a) not good enough or b) gone from the club at the end of the season makes sense because he’s here long term or should be. Look we’ve been over this with Gabriel not being risked against Liverpool as well it’s pretty similar Mikel trusts certain players more and he’s far more cautious with others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I think with Saliba it’s a bit short sighted honestly.

  39. PhD2020

    Luteo GuenreiraOctober 9, 2020 18:35:56
    At 19 Graham was packing to begin his march toward Jerusalem as a foot soldier for the First Crusade. Pierre was a medic in the same unit, until he fell in love with a young boy with large eyes as they were passing through Turkey and went AWOL.
    And Banford got down on bended knee and sank his teeth into Emery’s long project..(without the gum shield)

  40. AFC Forever

    By the way, I think Pablo Mari is quality. He was class for Flamengo & looked good for us until his injury. For the first time in years we have some decent C B’s at the club.

  41. Marko

    points only sound like softer ways of saying “he’s not good enough right now” to me.

    One could also counter point that with the amount of game time the likes of Nketiah gets and we’ve even seen Mikel start Kolasinac and Holding at CB at times. Does that mean that they’re good or that Mikel sees them as good enough right now? One is a no and the other a scary thought. It’s about preferences right now

  42. Luteo Guenreira


    You really think the best thing to do is send him out on loan to the Championship if there is legitimate concern his foot won’t hold up? From what I can surmise he’s going out in search of MORE playing time isn’t it, and not rehab?

    His foot injury was from months ago, he returned to Ligue 1 at St. Etienne already and he’s played for our u-23s as well a couple weeks ago. If his foot wasn’t healing properly they shouldn’t have played him at all. Don’t see the foot being a driving issue with him right now.

  43. Marc


    Well I’m glad you can predict the future and knew all along that Salina was going to take 2 years to come good – Fact is we don’t know the exact reasons behind this or what influence COVID has had on any of this.

    If Saliba is the world’s first £100 million plus defender in a few seasons you’ll be singing from the rooftops how Arteta brought him through and developed him.

  44. Pedro

    Marc, if you’re starving, and you spend your £30 on seed (non-edible), no one is going to say that even though you died of starvation, you were forward-thinking.

    We spent £30m on a defender still not ready… and £23m on one this season, post-Raul, that has slotted right in.

    Think it’s clear what the smarter move was.

  45. Luteo Guenreira


    I don’t see how a person whose job depends on the performance of the team would voluntarily play someone worse at the game simply due to preference. So yes to me that means Nketiah and Kola are considered viable options for the squad. Do you honestly believe Arteta doesn’t want better players than Nketiah though?

  46. AFC Forever

    “If Saliba is the world’s first £100 million plus defender in a few seasons you’ll be singing from the rooftops how Arteta brought him through and developed him”

    We all will be. The trolls will be gutted though.

  47. Captain Tierney


    At the time we had Mustafi, Kos, Sokratis, Chambers, Holding as CB options. We weren’t starving. And if you remember correctly after the window the narrative was we had a squad good enough to challenge for top 4 . And had we a better manager or a bit of luck wr would of finished top 4.
    30 mil on an 18 yo is definitely overpaying but if Saliba kept on going like that for even 2 more years he would of been out of our price range.
    Just like CR7, Mbappe and the many top players we have missed out o. due to penny pinching.

    Raul is gone. You can now stop your agenda.

  48. AFC Forever


    Yep that Gabriel signing was a masterstroke. He was among the top five dominant centre-backs in Europe at Lille. Man Utd wanted him too they must be gutted with that defence of theirs.

  49. Captain Tierney

    Oops messed up the seasons but with a better manager last season we could have challenged for top 4.
    Should have been better manager + a bit of luck ( we dropped 11+ points last season due to dodgy referring).

  50. Marc


    That’s what does me – all these agenda’s. All I want is Arsenal to win every single match they play, I don’t care (outside of one or two candidates) who the manager is or who the players are. If they do well I’m happy.

  51. AFC Forever

    “but if Saliba kept on going like that for even 2 more years he would of been out of our price range”

    This is such a good point.

    Like I said,before, young players are a gamble you just never know. Miss out & before you know it the price has doubled.

  52. AFC Forever


    Yes mate.

    I love Arsenal they are like family to me. They have provided me with an addiction that I don’t want cured. My entire family are Gooners. I am a positive fan so I don’t understand all the agenda crap. Some of it just comes from the trolls, mist Arsenal fans I know are pretty positive right now with what’s going on.

  53. Marc


    Firstly every report I’ve seen says Gabriel cost £27 million. Secondly last summer we spent a fortune we weren’t staving we’d missed out on 3rd by 2 points. The club rolled the dice on spending with a view that the payoff was worth the gamble – Saliba was a nod to the future.

    How you can infer that Saliba is a poor signing but Gabriel (who I do like the look of) has slotted right in but couldn’t start at Liverpool is daft. It’s even dafter when you consider that if we were staving as you claim we turned down almost £50 million in bids for a back up player who’s position you can’t even tell me and Xhaka the worst CM I’ve seen at Arsenal in recent memory.

  54. Pedro

    Saliba. It’s fitness.

    £30m for a defender that still isn’t ready. £27m for one that can. The semantics, either way, tell you that it wasn’t smart business considering what the squad needed.

  55. Marc


    Saliba was never bought for right now – how you can say it wasn’t smart business until we see how it pans out it massively daft.

    I’d prefer to see Saliba get some time with us in the early EL and League Cup (not that there’s much of that left now) but if Arteta thinks doing a season in the Championship is the best way to develop fair enough.

    I will not write off a player or a manager in 5 minutes like so many on here.

  56. Luteo Guenreira

    Really curious, is there actually any report of issues with Saliba’s foot still being a concern or no? Should let him rehab and heal fully if that’s the case but he’s been playing and I’ve not heard anything like that. Foot injuries that don’t heal properly can be a footballer’s death. Jack Wilshere says hi.

  57. AFC Forever

    Regarding Saliba.

    Arsenal faced competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur to complete the deal, with both clubs meeting Saint-Étienne’s valuation of the player, however, Saliba chose to join Arsenal, with the club’s interest in Saliba dating back to autumn of 2018.[

    He had only played 16 games for At. Etienne so he was bought for the future, the kid was a raw talent described as a future star. We bought him and loaned him back. He played 12 games, his broken foot delaying his progress, so in total he has only played 28 ganesvat the topp level. That may explain his Loan

  58. AFC Forever


    His foot is fine but it limited his playing time. Prior to the foot injury Saliba did not play a game for St Etienne until the end of September, as he underwent surgery on an adductor muscle injury, missing 6 weeks or so. So last season he played just 12 games. So his game time was severely hampered and not as expected

  59. Pedro

    Marc, how many clubs in world football are spending 30m on players that aren’t ready for first-team action for at least two seasons?

    Very few. Almost unheard of. It was not a smart way to spend money when we have much more pressing matters.

    If we were in the CL sure, but we weren’t. We were so skint, we borrowed money from this summer.

  60. Pedro

    Luteo, I don’t think that’s true. If he had a recurring injury, he’d not be going out on loan.

    It’s broad-based ruggedness that he’ll hopefully get in the Championship.

  61. Pedro

    AFC, no one is arguing potential. Think most people are just wondering why you’d invest 30m in a 2 year investment when you had actual needs for the now.

    ‘He could reach VVD levels’ is something that you could say of lots of young centre backs around Europe.

  62. Marc


    Yes it was a roll of the dice – I’ve already said that but right now we don’t know how it will work out.

    What I will say is it’s got a major chance of working out better than the signings of Torreira and Sokratis who were both “right now” signings, it’s also got a massive chance of working out better than giving Ozil £18.2 million a year, turning down £60 million for Sanchez only to swap him for a player 6 months later who’s contract we’ve had to write off to get him off the wage bill.

    I’d rather a calculated punt than plain odd piss poor signings and decisions.

  63. Marc

    “It’s broad-based ruggedness that he’ll hopefully get in the Championship.”

    Can we call it experience – it at least to me seems a better description.

  64. Useroz

    Media reports say Arteta soots two specific weaknesses of Saliba’s play that has led to the kian exit.

    1. Defending set pieces
    2. Going to ground too much

    Arteta sees Saliba in training so i won’t soubt his observations.

    The going to ground thing I can understand but no idea what issues Sakiba has In defending set pieces. No reprted unfortunately

    In fact, Saliba got his name in defending set oueces being tall, attacking the ball, fast etc. Is it his judgment? Not physical enough to wrestling in the box? Or what?

    Talking about weaknesses….

    How many of us here would consider Mustafi, Hilding, Luiz, Chanbers, Holding good in defending set pieces?? I’m sure wed compile impressive lists of weaknesses for each of them. I suppose it’s a matter of trade-off and relativity. Ultimately Arteta is jn charge and it’s a case of whatever he decides.

  65. Marc


    No you see that makes it all make sense – Pedro you could learn something from this fella!

    Arteta sees Saliba “2. Going to ground too much” as an issue so has decided to get him away from Mustafi ASAP!

  66. Marc


    “Marc, no, because it’s about his body as well as his experience.”

    Yeah but fitness doesn’t fit right for me – maybe conditioning is closer but I’m not sure a single word quite does it.

  67. Useroz

    Pedro. Would you be able to speed up the fine tuning of the text box that we use to write feedback? So to change the font to black and increase the font size. Thanks!

  68. AFC Forever


    That’s pretty fair.

    As I said, he was viewed as a hot prospect & we met the valuation, same as Spuds. He has only played 28 games & English football is more demanding physically than the French league.

    Sending him on loan makes sense to me. Whether or not he will be a big success or failure we won’t know. So yes, we have to trust the club and Arteta. Anything is just speculation & guesswork.

  69. Elmo

    So Big Weng’s autobiography isn’t released in the US until 10th November, but is out here on Tuesday.

    Are you relying on serialisation in the tabloids for your info, Pedro, or will you be finding a pirated ebook on the murkier reaches of the net?

  70. Useroz

    Between the YT clips and watching 2/3 games that feature Saliba, i seem to recall he went to ground to intercept the ball.

    Of course the clips show highlights en masse so could have skewed the picture. But this interception thing is meant to be one of Saliba’s strengths as being decisive, proactive and he hardly goy yellow cards doing it.

    May be the pace of the PL would out his style (and doot) at risk? A mistimed going to ground interception could have his foot broken etc. So Arteta doesn’t want another Mustafi un the making. Thats fair enough.

    Stull baffled about defending set pieces. Other than Gabriel and (God forbids Martinez),and Giroud!) we suck at it. Getting better but…

    But i think Saliba needs to stick Galbriels poster in his bedroom wall. Just aim to get to his bulk and you’d become a starting 11.

    Where to send Sakuba to would depend on his major development needs such as experience at a high level league, physical ruggedness, skill aet, techniques, styles of team play. etc. Or even English language and football mentality.

    If we are concerned with his body and physique not being ready especially after 2019 injuries , is the Championship really a good idea? As some pointed out here, it’s competitive, brutal, fast, etc. Though he would benefit from English football generally,, he may get hurt if he isn’t physically up to speed? Its a chicken and egg situation really.

    Still strange talking about his physique. Saliba is meant to be s very strong, albeit in the Ligue 1 landscape. Anywya, wed put him and Pepe’s issues together and just say that the PL is much tougher!

  71. Jim+furnell

    If Arsene loves the club so much he should put his hand in his own pocket and buy out Ozils contract himself. He was the prick who signed off on £90m worth of bullshit

  72. G8

    Saliba has to go on loan because we’re stuck with Mari, socratis, kola ,mustafi and holding. And we still have chambers to come! either that or Arteta doesn’t fancy him at all for one reason or another which would be a shame
    It doesn’t look like it’s a fitness or physical issue to me, the boy is 1.92 m and looks as strong as an ox

  73. Pierre

    I said it from day 0ne..Saliba has a poor heading technique and Gabriel has a superb technique in the air.

    Le groaners were not keen on my analysis.

    Also said that Saliba reminded me of an early Rio Ferdinand when he drops a shoulder coming out with the ball…..this is a compliment.
    Ferdinand , though a superb footballer, was a liability at times in the early days at west ham, Maybe Arteta thinks that at this present time , a liability is the last thing we need…

    I received a message from my son a few months back saying Saliba has a bit of Mustafi about him the way he goes to ground.

    Maybe he was right….who knows.

    Lots of presumptions as to why he’s not even making the league cup team , sometimes it’s much better if the manager explains things a little clearer…not too much to ask is it….or is it.

  74. AFC Forever

    Interesting stat from last season.

    Goals conceded:

    Open Play: 16th (25 goals)
    Set piece: 3rd Joint (15 goals)

    Regarding set piece goals, Leicester, Spuds & Sheffield Utd had the best recordletting in just 6 goals. Worth a good few points..

  75. Useroz

    I use an iphone Se 2.

    Colour of font i n the text box looks grey not black and hard to see and the default font size is a bit small.

    I can size the screen larger to compensate font size though inconvenient. But can’t change colour of the font

    Others on here say the same when the new look came out.

  76. China1

    Ofc the partey signing is absolutely massive but the one I’m watching closest is actually Gabriel

    I know it’s too early to say, but could he be the replacement for sol Campbell we never got? Could it be????? I fucking hope so. If Gabriel is half the player and half the servant sol was he will be an incredible signing

    It’s early days yet but man of he comes good we will have an absolutely huge signing. Massive guy, great in the tackle, loves to defend, reads the game, solid passer, good in the air, not slow… and he’s early 20s. I dunno what more you can ask from a CB. He could be amazing for us. I just pray I’m not reacting to early

  77. Sid

    The Championship should be played in an oval field, with an oval ball,
    Its a disgrace to football. Thats why while ligue 1 produces Maga the Championship has Shawcross

  78. China1

    Arteta said saliba goes to ground too easily

    I don’t think it’s a point about him worried about getting overplayed. If we’re worried about the toll of overplaying him in a high tempo aggressive league, why wouldmloaning him to the championship be a good idea?

    I think it’s just about experience and adaptation, not worries about injuries

  79. Aussie+Gooner

    Let’s get this clear – Saliba was not purchased as a long term development prospect. You do not spend 27m on a player that is so far off a first team debut, particularly as he has been playing at the top level in France. Look at all the prospects we have just picked up in this window for peanuts. I know he has been injured but is there more permanent damage to his foot? Something is not right here.

  80. China1

    Agreed Aussie that it seems saliba might have some issue we don’t yet know about

    Arteta said he goes to ground too easily but surely telling him to use his upper body strength more and release the ball earlier is pretty low down on the list of difficult points to coach into a player and shouldn’t take a year to drill. Or he can hit the gym and gain a few KG of muscle in just a few months

  81. Captain Tierney


    Your Analysis is not really backed up with data.
    Last season in Ligue 1, Saliba had a better Aerial duel win % than Gabriel.

  82. Captain Tierney

    Afc Forever

    Emery really messed us up. But I dont think he is a bad tactician. But he just doesn’t have the aura/sauce/whatever to manage a big club. He cant manage big players and egos and thats what you get at big clubs.

    I think the Sevilla/ Villarreal level of football is perfect for him

  83. crimson

    I love this football club
    Whenever I’m down in the misdt of daily darkness. It helps. The familiar first days at Highbury on that carpet.
    It’s the devil you know…❤️

  84. China1

    I heard saliba breached an arteta non-negotiable when he kept calling the white players crackers and asking if they need more cheese

    Something had to give I guess

  85. Habesha Gooner

    Well, the Saliba omission doesnt look good to me. Yeah we need to integrate him slowly but this is too much. So far I have seen signs arteta pick average players over talents. As a System we are a bit better but we arent using players of high potential apart from Saka. Arteta had trouble managing and getting the best out of guendouzi. He was picking Nketiah over an unveliveable talent like martinelli. Now Something is wrong with Saliba.

    I see a trend that I dont like. If he is integrating them very slowly to use them in the next few years, Kudos to him but if he is discarding them, I will be disappointed. There has to be consistency in using age as a deciding factor when you are playing Saka this much. Yes CB is a tough position to play but Saliba would have been better served to play some games as a backup. It doesnt do his confidence a good deal either. I promise you Leicester arent sending wesley fofona on loan. And Saliba is a bit ahead in development. I think it is bizzare.

  86. China1

    Keep on trucking crimson

    There was a guy on the news a few months back in England who was suffering from severe depression. Now he’s celebrating a book he just wrote being a n1 best seller.

    Things can change very suddenly

  87. Pierre

    “Pierre, it’s time to admit that you are one of us… give it up, you, are a Le Groaner.”

    We all like a bit of a moan …I tend to moan about the entitled whingers on here.

    In general i am positive about our players and manager get roundly criticised for it .

    I defend players who get all the stick on here like Pepe, Lacazette , eddie , willock, Guendouzi, torreira and mustafi…could go through the who team I suppose..

    As per usual , Le Grove get over excited about the new toys …I pointed out that Martinelli (new toy)was a bit of a head down merchant when running with the ball and all hell broke loose.( Arteta noticed similar discrepancies in his game and rarely played him)….

    Same with Saliba( new toy) , I questioned his heading technique and whether he was ready ( before Arteta came to the same decision) and again Le Grove didn’t take too kindly to what I said.

    I questioned whether Aouar ( new toy) was the player we needed, again abuse came my way due to the fact that Le Grove had already convinced themselves that he was the chosen one…to me , Partey was always the important player we needed and that’s how it worked out.

    Arteta is still a new toy at the moment and there are some who’s crusade is to defend him on every decision he makes….not me .

    I like him a lot , he is exactly what we need but I think he needs to be a little more honest with the fans and make it a little clearer as to why certain decisions have been made as it causes division amongst the fans, who tend to come to the wrong conclusion due to lack of clarity from the manager.

    Rule 1 ..never give an honest analysis of a Le grove new toy…

  88. Leftfootcurler

    The thing about defenders and defensive midfielders in general are that unless you make zero unforced errors in a whole season,you aren’t any good.

    At young age, errors will happen.
    Gabriel is getting all the praise but he miscalculated the flight of the ball plenty of times vs west ham.

    I have only seen YT videos of saliba and it’s not enough to judge.
    CBs are judged on errors. Not their best moments.
    Without sufficient knowledge it’s not possible to make any reasonable conclusion.
    Hopefully he does well on loan.

    Regarding Partey, data guys are right in many aspects.

    Considering the total expenses and his age, Partey is a suboptimal signing for a midtable team on a limited budget trying to get to top 4.

    Where they are wrong is that they say he is not an elite player simply based on stats.

    Stats for midfielders are very contextual. Based on the manager,system,team mates.

    He is very Roy Keane ish.
    Sadly for many gooners on here,he is not a “controller”.
    I compared him to Roy Keane for a reason. He is a line breaker. He drills passes into the forward’s feet. The ball receiver may be under pressure but Partey would zip it to his feet, anyway.

    That’s not controlling. All controllers will ensure the ball receiver will have ATLEAST 1 passing option available.
    They ensure the overall ball retention of the team increases and they also stretch the team’s shape.

    Partey doesn’t play long diagonals enough to stretch the opposition’s shape too.

    I don’t know whether his quote about wanting to play with xhaka is genuine or not,but it makes sense.

    Their skills are complementary.

    Xhaka stretches the opposition’s shape with his balls into the channels.
    Stretched shape = more space infield for our attackers.

    Then you have Partey drilling the ball into the feet of the attackers.
    Attackers being in space,will be more dangerous.

    I am not saying he is a bad passer,he is superb passer but he is not a controller.

    He also has a physical presence,wins duels,covers ground well,is good under pressure,has long legs which help in tackling from afar.

    He is one of the best double pivot midfielders itw.

    But he doesn’t address arsenal’s biggest issues- creativity,lack of quality secondary scorer and defence line dropping too deep

    So he won’t push forward arsenal’s bid for top 4 much.

    Re top 4, A lot more depends on Pepe/Saka’s improvement and consistency.

    Hopefully we can get on a run and our rivals falter.

    Partey’s real value will shine through in big games and when we get CL.

  89. Pierre

    “Your Analysis is not really backed up with data.
    Last season in Ligue 1, Saliba had a better Aerial duel win % than Gabriel.”

    I go by what I see with my own eyes ..

    A player can win an aerial dual without being a good header of a ball…

    Gabriel has a way better heading technique.

  90. Pierre

    The question I always ask of a new arrival is does he improve the team and is he better than what we have for that position.

    Gabriel affirmative
    Partey …a near certainty to improve our midfield
    Willian … 50/50 on that one as I think Pepe has the potential to do something special …Willian is a good all round professional, he has found it difficult in the last few games to make any impact but still early days.

  91. Aussie+Gooner


    “As per usual , Le Grove get over excited about the new toys …”

    Well perhaps it is because we are none too happy with some of the ‘old toys’ you are always willing defend. I personally would not wish to see Ozil, Mustafi, Xakah, Guendouzi, Eddie, Willock start over some of the ‘new toys’ ie Gabriel, Martinelli, Saka, Saliba. I actually do like to get excited by the football I watch!

  92. China1

    Pierre you say you go with your own eyes yet I recall you touting stats of ozil being on the pitch and arsenal winning games being indicative stats that ozil makes us better

    Shame your eyes didn’t tell you much then

  93. Graham62


    Are you a coach?

    Your comprehensive review of Partey is excellent.

    Was just thinking how fans would be commenting on players back in the seventies.

    “His socks rolled down by his ankles were a hindrance to his forward movement, mainly because his calf muscles were too cold, whilst his ability to track back was also affected by the poor surface and the fact that his boots were clogged up with mud”

    Football is such a simple game but your analysis shows just how much perceptions have changed.

    That’s a compliment by the way.

  94. Pierre

    The posters on le grove who get over excited about the new toys quickly become disenchanted with those same players and label them the new ” dross”

    Sokratis, kolasinac, Torreira, Guendouzi, Mari ,Cedric (possibly Pepe/Lacazette )and even Xhaka , to name but a few.

    Personally, I prefer to give a balanced view on newcomers…..
    Gabriel and Partey look nailed on to be a success, let’s hope they don’t succumb to the famous non negotiables.

  95. China1

    Left xhaka only plays a few of those long balls per game. A vast majority of his play is short ground passing sideways or backwards. That he stretches the opposition with regularity is a ‘stretch’ if you’ll excuse the pun

  96. Leftfootcurler


    I haven’t said anything to you.

    Willian is a balancer. He is doing just fine,not struggling.
    It’s Arsenal who are struggling to get him in the game by being so left heavy.
    With Partey at RCM, I hope we build on the right more.
    That will get Willian and Pepe into the game more.

    As for Pepe,my judgement is the same as last season.

    He is too tall so he doesn’t have a low center of gravity hence he gets knocked off the ball easily.
    This nullifies his dribbling.
    To overcome this,he has to bulk up.
    Let’s be patient and let him do the required work in the gym.

    His positioning and movement was extremely poor last season.
    So he doesn’t get into goal scoring positions enough, and he doesn’t get the ball from CMs enough.

    It’s quite clear from his performances this season that he is gradually improving this aspect.

    Let’s be patient.
    Once he improves on these two aspects, he will be our own Salah,Mane, Sterling etc.

    He is that good a talent.

    As for Gabriel, mustafi looks good in plenty of games too.

    Defenders should be judged on their 10 worst games.
    We have to see over a course of a season.
    But talent is clearly there

  97. Graham62

    Any tennis fans on here?

    Yet another reason last night why Novak Djokovic will never be seen by many as a true great.

    At one point in the match, before starting a point, he bounced the ball 40 times on the court before striking his serve.

    Gamesmanship to the extreme and something that drives me mad. I know it pissed of Tsitsipas. Novak got a warning for time delay but that’s not enough.

    The rules need to be changed.

    Djokovic has benefitted numerous times over the years because of this.

    Ok, back to football.

  98. Leftfootcurler


    You don’t play long diagonals everytime you get the ball.

    You play it at just the right time. Also where you play it,matters
    Best example I can give is of Scholes.
    He played diagonals with a purpose. The intention was to shuffle the defensive block from side to side.
    His diagonals penetrated backlines, got his team mates in behind the cb/Fb.
    The difference between running onto a pass/taking into your stride and trapping it dead before progressing the ball is HUGE.

    Most diagonals are useless.
    Xhaka’s use of diagonals are very good.
    Arsenal’s second goal vs west ham came due to his diagonal to Pepe.
    West ham defence when shuffling from right to left, left a gap in their defence which Saka and Ceballos exploited.

    If you want to see useless diagonals,most of Ruben Neves, Rooney,Jonjo Shelvey’s diagonals are useless.

    Xhaka is not a bad player because he is a poor athlete.

    He is a mediocre player because he makes too many errors.

    He can give away the ball cheaply even if he is under no pressure, forget about being under pressure.

    Busquets is slow,Pirlo,Xavi Alonso, Scholes,Carrick are all slow.

    You can hide that in an organised shape.

    His flaws are:
    he doesn’t scan the pitch with his head.
    He should have decided which pass to play before he receives the ball so that he can release it quickly.
    Instead he gets it,looks up,light years pass by before he passes.

    He is too one footed.
    Obviously under pressure,the opponents will force him to be on his weaker foot,he struggles there.
    It’s why he struggles there.
    Can’t receive and turn with the ball in one motion.

    He makes errors even when he has time and space.
    Not technically secure enough.

    These things are what separates xhaka from say,Xabi Alonso,who was obviously world class.

  99. Aussie+Gooner

    From the Mirror

    “The Gunners eventually paid Partey’s release clause to sign him from Atletico Madrid just moments before the transfer deadline. According to The Athletic, the Ghanaian midfielder first spoke to now-axed head scout Francis Cagigao over a move several years ago. It is claimed they discussed his role at length over lunch and Partey ‘talked admirably’ about new team-mate Granit Xhaka. He is said to have expressed his belief that he could form a strong midfield partnership with the Swiss international which could now come to fruition under Mikel Arteta.”

    Dear God, no wonder Saliba is on the outside!

  100. Emiratesstroller

    What is rarely discussed on Le Grove is that the club has been in transition over last two seasons with a large number of departures and an influx of SEVENTEEN new players.

    In 2019/20 Season the arrivals were:
    Willock [U23]
    Saka [U23]
    Nelson [U23]
    Nketiah [U23]

    This season the arrivals were
    Saliba [recruited last season but arrived this season]
    Smith-Rowe [U23]

    Many of these recruits were young inexperienced players with limited first team experience
    or came from clubs outside major leagues.

    It has been clear that it has taken some time for many of these players to make the transition to play in EPL. The two most obvious recruits who have struggled are Pepe last season and now Saliba this season.

    Very few of the players recruited had previous EPL experience so the impatience of many posters about our progress under both Emery and Arteta was frankly unjustified although in
    the case of Emery I was always of the opinion that he was the wrong person for the club.

    The club should be by the end of this season in a much better place to compete at the top
    level in League.

    From now on I think that recruitment can and should be far more selective than it has been
    previously. Of course the club will make from time to time transfer mistakes, but I would not
    write off too quickly Saliba as some are already doing. He is a 19 years old and I suspect may
    be finding it more difficult than most recruits to adapt to English Football and perhaps even
    to life in England not helped by Covid.

  101. AFC Forever


    Yes mate. You hit the nail on the head with your analysis. When you see those who dislike Xhaka, which they are entitled to, they look at him in scone dimensional way. He breaks the lines with his powerful & often accurate passing. He is a big lad,and doesnt posses great pace but he provides a valuable function in the team dynamic. This is something that gets so often overlooked. Some fans forget the best team will not necessarily he the best players. Arteta has shown this is his philosophy he doesn’t hesitate in making changes to match up the opposition.

    Defensively you need players who don’t make mistakes. It’s more important thiscend of the pitch that you have reliability Arteta is not going to put someone in there if he is concerned about naivety or fitness. You can’t get away with it in that position.

    As discussed previously, Saliba is raw. Highly rated but raw. His first season in France he played 18 games. Last season only 12, due to 2 X injuries (surgery on an abductor muscle & a broken foot) Had he not had those unforseen injuries & played more games perhaps Arteta would select him. They put him back on loan when we signed him which says we wanted him to have games. Instead he had 2 not too pleasant injuries.

  102. Captain Tierney


    Great analysis re Partey and Xhaka.

    And 100% right about Xhaka. He is slow but has got a wand of a left foot. Its the errors he makes that make him an average player. Tho his decision making off the ball has Massively improved since he joined us ( remember all the mindless red cards) it is still suboptimal.

  103. Dream10

    I hope that I am wrong, but I am suspecting that Arteta does not want to play Saliba because he personally did not approve of the signing. It’s a way of proving that he is in charge. Young William is a pawn that he is choosing to sacrifice to get his point across. If you can play in Ligue 1 at 17/18 years of age in such a physical league with the rare ability of being able to tackle while not going to ground as a defender, you can certainly play in the PL. Holding is not better than him. For me, this is Arteta being a cynical bastard

  104. Emiratesstroller

    One additional lesson to be learned from Saliba recruitment.

    We should never loan back or out a player to a club UNLESS it is providing a suitable environment to what would be expected and applied by Arsenal.

    In my view Arsenal should work closely with two or three clubs including one in the Championship like Brentford where we can be sure that they will look after young players
    properly and access for them to train periodically at Arsenal and receive the appropriate
    medical support.

  105. Ernest Reed

    “I hope that I am wrong, but I am suspecting that Arteta does not want to play Saliba because he personally did not approve of the signing”

    Thats quite a reach Dream10, more likely Saliba simply isn’t ready for prime time yet.

  106. Colney Gooner

    With Watford’s apparent interest in taking Saliba on loan at least he would be training in London Colney as their training ground is next to Arsenal’s.

  107. Karsa

    Saliba has played 30 first team games.

    He is coming back from two injuries.

    He is with a new team, in a new league, in a foreign country.

    His CB partner is also very inexperienced.

    He has sadly lost his mother.

    Not really surprising he needs some time. Nothing at all sinister in this decision to me.

  108. Emiratesstroller

    There are some ridiculous comments being made about Saliba.

    Does anyone believe seriously that Arteta is so prejudiced that he would not want a player at
    his club, because he did not recruit him?

    He assessed the player and came to the conclusion that he is not ready for EPL and that it would be best to give him regular playing time elsewhere, but with proper supervision.

    Recruitment is never an exact science. There are many factors, which impact on a players
    ability to adapt to a league, club or even management and coaching.