by .

Gooners, go to the fancy cupboard, pull out a bottle of the expensive stuff, and find the nice glasses. We’re celebrating the biggest win of the last decade… neigh, the biggest win of the CENTURY.

William Saliba took his DECISION to French national TV and he… is STAYING.

Oh my god, I honestly don’t know what I’d have done if had decided to quit, regardless, we can ALL rest a little easier knowing that the Twitter this summer is going to be a little easier.

So what did the BIG man say?

‘I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left’

‘I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.

Honestly, I read lines like that and it makes me very happy, because this is basically what I’ve been saying about him all season. To make a career in football is a 180 in 1.5m chance, to make it in the Premier League, the chances are so slim, it’s almost not worth figuring out the stat because it’d have too many zeroes on it (I think it’s 0.02%). The idea that he was not going to want to get back to England and prove himself because he was offended by a loan was so, so far wide of the mark.

So what did the player say of his loan?

‘If I were to describe my season in a word? Surprising, or magical,’

‘It was my first full season. I was committed to showing people who I really am.’

‘The assessment is positive and I’m happy with my season. When you look at Marseille from the outside, you say: it’s good, but it’s make or break. So I told myself: “you’re going to this club and you can’t joke around, you can’t mess around, you have to play to the maximum every match”.

‘It’s as if I’ve been at Marseille for at least two or three years. It’s really special, even if I don’t return to Marseille, I’ll never forget it.

‘Thanks to Marseille, I reached the next level in my career; they lifted me.’

So for all the people that said ‘this loan move is offensive’ or ‘Arteta has really fucked up here’ well, there you have it. The player grew up, he knuckled down, he focused on his craft and he absolutely blew it out the park. I’m not sure there are many loans in history that have gone so well, they’ve ended up with a call-up to the World Champions.

The infantilization of Saliba that went on all season was so ridiculous and I am so happy that the player is showing that he’s not a baby. This boy came back a man and now he’s ready. His coach at Marseille, Jorge Sampaoli, had this to say on his development.

‘William’s progress is linked to his development this season and the maturity he now has and his playing time.

‘He is now consistent, he’s grown up as a player. In relation to his situation at the club, I hope that there is a possibility for us to retain a player like him, who knows the team.

Again, those comments are from an incredibly experienced coach, and he’s telling you why the player went out on loan. William Saliba made his mistakes on Marseille’s watch this season, he ironed out the immaturity in his game, and he learned how to go to war with a warrior coach. He made 52 appearances, clocking in 4500 minutes, which makes him the most experienced 21-year-old centre back in Europe. There were also concerns at Arsenal that he was fully developed physiologically, which would have made him susceptible to injuries, well, whatever they’ve tweaked behind the scenes, it seems to have worked, because that is an incredibly robust season. The Premier League is a different monster, but the foundations are clearly very strong.

Now the loan has worked, there are obviously going to be questions about whether Saliba could have stayed with Arsenal last season. Maybe he could have, but the bigger ask is this: Would he have landed more minutes than he did at Marseille? No way. Absolutely no chance. At best, he’d have made appearances at the backend of the season like Rob Holding and racked up 1000 minutes. There are no guarantees he’d have been in the right frame of mind to take on those minutes and the Premier League is much harder and faster, so the ride might have been bumpy.

The difference now is Saliba will be coming back with respect on his name, he’ll have an air about him, he’s in the French National squad, his reputation will be known in the dressing room. He is legitimately fighting for a first-team place next season, which is exactly what our defence needs.

What I’m most excited about is the interchangeable pieces we now have. William Saliba can do everything Ben White and Gabriel can do and he can also slip into right back. We have cover if Tomi get injured, we have a really powerful 3 at the back option with 3 outlets that can break the lines, and we also have rotation options now that don’t decimate how the team plays.

It’s all very exciting.

So in short, most of the hysterics around the loan move have been laid to rest.

  • The player landed the most minutes of any 21 yr old centre back in Europe
  • He played at a very high level and made a European semi final
  • He’s on the record saying he’s brimming with confidence and he had a magical time
  • He wants to prove himself with Arsenal this season

Say it quietly: The loan move was good.

… but my word, have a lot of people staked their football reputations on him. Let’s hope he lives up to the hype.

Also, I hope that this approach to developing players can now be seen as more acceptable. Not every young player is ready, loan moves give minutes and confidence, if the contracts are sorted, they can be very valuable. Balogun, BNC, Hutchinson, and Patino might all be eyeing a development move themselves this summer… William Saliba is now the case study in getting it right.

Right, that’s me done. I’m going to have king of the Saliba Ultras on a podcast later to talk about this stunning moment in their ever so short by stressed history.

Before we go… if you want to watch a video of me and Matt Kandela talking about the 1997-98 transfer window, subscribe to that damn Patreon and get amongst it. Someone reminded me that we were linked to Nano and Ibrahim Ba that window. I remember being explosively excited about those rumours. What a time to be alive. My favourite thing about that time is that every transfer was about hope… versus this miserable world we live in now when every transfer target seems to have 15 people queuing up to tell you why it’s shit.

This podcast is pure transfer joy and it has some really cool data in there that gives context to how hard we moved to get back to the top. ENJOY. If you aren’t subscribed, know that there are tiers to what you can pay, we know life is expensive at the moment, so whatever you can spare. xxx

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Bankz is here for the tr4phy again.


Let’s do this!


DM and groovey, come outside!




Another day, another clean sweep.



Truly admire your Houdini-like pivot on Saliba. Considering you were the single biggest critic on here of Saliba and his decision to go to Marseille, it’s almost a thing of beauty for you to go on the attack . Kudos for the sheer ballsiness of your writing!

I don’t know if he’ll be a success or failure for us next year but there’s no doubt he’ll be under a bigger microscope than any other Arsenal player due to the drama of the last couple of years. Let’s hope he shines.


Wow. Bankz is here already


Saliba wants to ‘play for the club and the fans’. Read into that what you will.


PEDRO. ‘Again, those comments are from an incredibly experienced coach, and he’s telling you why the player went out on loan.’ GUESS ANOTHER THING THAT THIS INCREDIBLY EXPERIENCED COACH SAID ON A PLAYER YOU’VE ALWAYS SAID WAS A NUTTER AND A CHILDISH CHARACTER THAT WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS FOR EVERYONE IN THE CLUB? Aside from his youth, Mattéo has a particular energy. He has a desire to win and he’s a natural leader. We imagined that would be the case but that it would happen over time. Seeing this in addition to his performances, we have an energy… Read more »


Streets won’t forget how Pedro was questioning Saliba’s Mentality for turning down moves to Newcastle and Brentford , in favor of a move to Marseille under Jorge Sampaoli. LOOOOOL!

Look at him now – he’s a champions league level player and a French international. Big up to Billy Saliba! Hopefully he can kick on and put Ben White rightfully in his place – on the bench.


Ok, for Saliba the next challenge is to be our VVD and go for the ballon de or nomination
and keep his place in the French team..



Yeah, but we all know (and love) Pedro enough to realize he rarely engages or addresses when he was clearly wrong but will just look for another angle of attack.


Pedro-you wrote it was a sign of the player’s lack of ambition-dreadful take.


Start him straight away, yesterday!

Can only improve our regressing defense.

Onto other topics, have we signed anyone yet?

Wake me when this occurs….

Dilly dally the AFC way.

Sold anyone yet?

That is right we are still in the Covid nightmare, inflationary economic period, have to meet the ffp rules, teams can’t afford our average players on mind numbinly high wages, blah blah blah.

All the while uefA continues to plague the world with their endless, meaningless games all at the expense of the players lifespan, and on the clubs $….


Here (again) is what you wrote:

‘My biggest concern out of this whole move is the lack of ambition from the player. Ben Knapper is the loans manager and he’ll have pulled together a group of clubs for the player to choose from (he had offered up Rennes last season according to GFFN). If reports are to be believed there was interest from Germany, Italy, and England. Why would a player trying to break the Premier League go back to France again?’


But he’s done that under 3 previous coaches already, right? What happened to ‘the only predictor of future behavior is past behavior’. So I’ll just assume Guen grew up to be a complete pro overnight? I can live with that.


Loving Zinchenko running this game, Ukraine looking bright.



That type of versatility would of had us in the Champions league with ability to full ball back as well.


Lol Bale really is taking the piss and clearly still has that elite talent.

Picking up £300k a week and got to basically have a couple of years long holiday in sunny Madrid and play Golf.

Still a difference maker for Wales and on the Spurs loan.


What a stinger completely against run of play that goal,
Get up on it Ukraine.



Before you begin the gloating, remember you said he went to France rather than an EPL club because he wanted the easy route or something like that.


That was a clear pen, wtf?


VAR baffles the mind man.


Ideally we should have had FIFA WC 2022 going on right now, instead we have Nations Cup.



Meant more his SF contribution vs Austria.


This is like watching a Spurs match this season, under the cosh for entire 45 yet come out on top with deflected goal.

TBF to Bale solid strike but it’s not going in without Yarmalenko’s head on it.


Stop digging that hole Pedro. You write ‘Objectively, moving to Brighton or Newcastle would have been better for his development’ but you also have said his loan to Marseille was one of the greatest ever recent loans (or words to that effect). How much European experience was he getting at Newcastle at Brighton? Once in a while, it’s ok to be wrong but like I said earlier, I do admire your balls in going after other posters on Saliba when you’ve been so wrong about him. However, I’m 100% with you on Zinchenko. A dream summer for me would be… Read more »


Don’t understand why everyone’s giving Pedro beef here. A loan move to Newcastle or Brighton would have been better if you take learning the language and the league (which is of a higher standard than the French league) into account. In general it’s the best loan move for any Arsenal player. But what I will say is this was a special unfortunate circumstance where Saliba had lost both of his parents and probably needed to be around friends and family in his home country, where he would have had time to grieve with loved ones away from the spotlight. I… Read more »


I’m just glad that Saliba actually wants to play for us still. Clearly is a very good player to win caps for France with all the elite CB competition and win YPOTY in Ligue 1.

6″4, good recovery pace and composed on the ball. A baby in CB terms at 21.

Gives us a decent CB rotation now and yes, I would absolutely keep Holding as a squad player. Feel that he is underrated on here.


SQ10 You’re right that it has a lot to do with the player’s circumstances. But as almost everyone agrees that the loan move to Marseille couldn’t have gone any better than it did, including an International call-up and a deep run in Europe, it’s strange that Pedro is still claiming a loan to Newcastle or Brighton would have been better for him. Every player is different. Wilshere and Willock thrived on loans to Bolton and Newcastle but Gnabry’s loan to WBA probably hastened his departure from the club. Reiss. Nelson has seen some uneven success abroad but AMN’s time at… Read more »



A 4 man CB rotation of White, Gabriel. Saliba and Holding looks pretty good to me too.


I’m expecting apologies from countless number of posters here! Saliba is here next year! I could name the ingrates that battered Arsenal and Arteta for his loan…. tempted, but we know who the negative twats are. The amount of utter bile typed about William has been redonculous.

Tolisso on a free?


The win clearly is for the Saliba fans because they have seen him play and knew that he was a top tier talent . Arsenal as a club invested heavily in him knowing he was , just that Mikel decided he wanted Ben White for 50million . And also he is not the most experienced 21 yr old French CB , that is still Wesley Fofana . I just hope Mikel Arteta is wise enough to rotate all these talented players effectively .


Bankz etc… need to get a life. The whole posting first is for the mind of pre-pubescent virgin teenager. Especially when they post nothing else.


You have been the most dismissive commentator about Saliba
Spare me the whole Houdini act

You never rated the lad, never thought there was anything special to him
You even started tagging these advocating for him.

Nice attempt to pivot though but you marked yourself based on how far off you were.


Zinchenko playing 3 dimensional his forward attackers aren’t on the same read.


Hope Ukraine find away last this Welsh
They are the better side but the best side doesn’t always win.


Zinchenko is really good
There;s no way city are going to let him leave


Slava Ukraini. 20 minutes…



With amount he’s played for City anything possible if right offer comes along. That kind of talent needs to be balling, not sitting on the sidelines adding depth with only opportunities full backing.


How pathetic they are. I am talking about those who constantly get things wrong but never admit it. No credib;illty at all. The moaners and groaners, the anti-arteta brigade. The pussycats who think they are hardened cynics.The know-it-alls who know nothing.

The ones who sneer when told Arteta is honest, forthright, sraightforward.


Crazy entertaining match this one.

Not sure why Ukraine subbed off their best player in Malinovskiy.


C’mon Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦


Jeeeeeesus when its not falling its not falling.


What a brilliant save.

Never get why they always show save replays in slow-motion, it does the GK a disservice and makes the save look like one they should make.


Just seen one of the hordes from spuds having a good game gets my blood boiling
… that’s Ben Davies, by the way


They’ll have to lockdown the Sheep tonight in Wales for the boozy celebrations.

Brian Muff

Ha! So many experts on here in recents months telling us Saliba will never play for us.

Fucking brilliant.

Now hiding behind comments Pedro said – that don’t even contradict his valid vitriol today. Muppets.

Pedro’s been adamant for months that he will return, and in spite of all the experts on here saying otherwise.

Come on guys, you got to own up to this one…admit that you never expected to read Saliba’s statement today….kinda ruins the anti Arteta narrative you’ve been pumping eh.


Damn this Ukraine match was an epic battle. leave it to Bale to crush the dreams of Ukraine.. Anyhow.. If we have a chance to sign Zinchenko… yes please.

From my homer USA stance much better to play Wales in the opener then Ukraine who would have been on a emotional … high that would have been hard to overcome.

Brian Muff

* victory


Also… as a #SalibaUltra…. I’m happy.


It’s so sad how many Pedro arse kissers 💩 on this site. When Pedro is well capable of holding his own.

Proper cheerleaders.


Sad for Ukraine. Especially as it was an obscure goal. And definate penalty. Would of been amazing to see them at the world Cup. Agony in the rain. 🇺🇦 🇺🇦


Samsung please explain… ? Who is kissing 💋

Danny S

Arteta bet 50m on white.

Whites right leg will need to be hanging by a tendon for Arteta to replace him in the side with Saliba, regardless of how well the lad does in cup games.

I expect we will get 20-30m for Saliba next year when he has a year remaining.


So Ukraine will not be winning the next world cup. Pity that. Maybe UEFA can award them the next EUROs as compensation


Muppet here;

The question is will he play him or start the same regressing defense? Or start Tam and Tierney who are just coming back from major injuries…..

When desperate Mikel will change his mind, but often it way late in the afternoon.
Same way with Eddie, ESR etc.

Will he rotate the squad early?
Better as world cup year and the players are going to be played into the ground.


RP7. Sadly Palestine is not playing football right now. A whole different debate. Nothing about religion.


Football can be so harsh Ukraine far the better yet sent packing.


CrimsonJune 5, 2022 19:22:57
RP7. Sadly Palestine is not playing football right now. A whole different debate. Nothing about religion.



Habesha Gooner

I am glad Saliba is staying next season. Arteta has to give them all a fair shot. Whoever wins the battle can start. The loan went okay but he still run down his contract by a year. If he doesn’t get minutes next season, he will be sold. Let’s hope Arteta changes Saliba’s mind about staying at Arsenal and signing a new contract. I live Zinchenko. He is very good. I think he is more of an attacker than a defender. Even at fullback, he always plays forward. Defensively he is a little suspect. But I wouldn’t mind having him… Read more »

Habesha Gooner

I don’t want Zinchenko alone for the CM though. He isn’t proven there yet in the PL. He has plenty of ability but we don’t need to take that risk.


No contract 2 years left. Damage is done. He will leave on a free


The Saliba saga is already and will continue to overshadow the forthcoming season.

A totally needless distraction – no matter how its spun.

Expect this one to run and run.


My kind of distraction having 3 first choice Center Backs to select from not to mention Holding a solid deputy if needed.


So will it be a great W for arteta if Willy has a great season and refuses to sign an extension at the end of next season ?… just a thought


Who cares about Ukraine or Palestine
Football blog people. Keep politics out of it


Very happy Saliba is staying. I was hoping he’d wanna come back and play for Arsenal. Let’s hope Arteta give him the chance that he has clearly earned (3 year wait), and he can adjust properly.

If he does adjust and play well, I would like for him to stay at Arsenal and not get sold.


Gabriel and White is not a guarantee starting 2 yet, so Saliba should be allowed to show how he can contribute to us having a solid pairing at the back.


The best move for Saliba was to go to Marseille because it’s the one that worked out. Newcastle or Brighton wouldn’t have helped him into the French national team, it definitely wouldn’t have made him YPOTY.

Ffs one of the best talents we’ve ever had was Gnabry and he disappeared in England. If he had gone to the German league who says he wouldn’t have had a different trajectory.

Let’s see how Arteta navigates this because it’s really slippery and sensitive anyhow you look at it


Xhaka having a great game here, lol.

Messi has 4 goals and Ronaldo should have had a 1st half hat-rick. Has to check the calendar to make sure that it wasn’t 2012.



I’m sure he will. He’s too talented not to and it’s not like Gabriel is pulling up trees



‘Not a huge fan of Saliba. Too leisurely, almost too relaxed. The pace in the EPL will kill him initially.’

Possibly, but that was the same reason we allegedly passed on buying Van Dijk from Celtic for 11.5m.

Vintage Gun

“So will it be a great W for arteta if Willy has a great season and refuses to sign an extension at the end of next season ?… just a thought” This is the the big balled elephant in the bungalow. Where we fcuked up was not adding an extra year or two on his contract BEFORE sending him out on loan last season. It was a well raised point on here at the time. I’m a “Saliba Ultra” and I’m happy that he will get a chance to at least prove himself here. But if he doesn’t sign an… Read more »

The Real Vieira Lynn

I’ll believe it when I see him wearing the kit at the beginning of the PL season….maybe this is all about maintaining his market value….until this organization starts conducting themselves in a professional manner, on a consistent basis, I will remain justifiably skeptical about all things Arsenal-related…personally, I want nothing more than for him to return to the fold, but the very fact that Arteta wasted a considerable sum on a player who plays the exact same position, just last year, raises some serious concerns about Saliba’s future



Re the comments by RP7

I thought looking relaxed and leisurely is what Van Dijk does for fun. Surely can’t be a bad thing.


If we can make three or five more clean sheets with Saliba next season the fans will love him
I am just hoping he can carrie the ball through lines with confidence and ability.Him and Ramsdale
are crucial for our 22/23 season and our Europa success..

Matt B

chill the fuck out, all of you — let’s see what happens, the truth is somewhere in between the murky business


Campbell, Toure and Gabriel are too jittery when defending and Saliba is too relaxed and leisurely. Guy took his team to second in the table, and won the YPOTY yet he’s too relaxed.

Arsenal fans eh.




I like Gabriel and White but they are both work in progress, not guaranteed starters. Which means Saliba should be getting starts, unless of course Arteta doesn’t start him for ‘other’ reasons.


Will he sign an extension to his contract tho…


Three at the back jack

Modern day sweeper



Thank fuck some one remembers we turned him and the other geezer who went to spurs for 24m
Double deal all set up standard said

Vintage Gun

Gabriel Jesus is a done deal


I knew that the interview Saliba gave with Telefoot would send Pedro into a frenzy just didn’t think he would invoke GOD in this by starting of with “God be praised” So lets scrutinize what Saliba said and everything else is conjecture, spin, interpretation and the equivalent of a snake oil salesman’s pitch. Speaking to Telefoot, the France international defender said: ‘I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left.” That is factual he just can’t break his contract unless he is willing to buy it out, so he returns to London. “I will be back with Arsenal. I… Read more »


The sun is reporting that Jesus will cost 50m + 250k a week

If that’s true that’s a horrific overspend on a player who we should be offering more like 35m and 150k for


There’s no way we are paying more than £25 million for Jesus

We need to walk away from this deal if it’s more that 25-30 million. Let city deal with the mess
There’s a feeling out there that Arsenal are a soft touch

That’s why all these club keep testing and testing. They get players on loan who become their club player for the season….then they want a ‘renegotiation’ after the loan.

We shouldn’t be funding the Haaland transfer by paying £50 million for a player with one year left on his deal.


The Sun is full of shot though
The general gist is that we are offering £190k weekly. There’s no way we are playing £50 million, no effing way.-


Better not be

Because this would be lacazette levels of overspend which simply cannot be justified

He has 1 year left on his deal. He’s good but not world class. His club have already replaced him and want to sell. There’s fuck all serious competition for his signature. We are arsenal, not Newcastle and should not feel obliged to pay ‘whatever it takes’ for such a player.

If they can’t take 35m and 150k a week then walk away and they will come running in a matter of days