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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Mr Serge

The deal will be about £40m and 190k a week for Jesus no way we get our pants pulled down like that
The sun is full of shit

The Real Vieira Lynn

40m & 190k per is still too steep of a price to pay for Jesus…if this is the case, this will definitely hurt our chances in getting another Striker of consequence, with some GD height, during this window


We will always have to overpay to attract top talent because we don’t have CL football. It was that important to get 4th this season for attracting these type of players, but the generational one and the Director of Fantasy bottled it.


According to The Telegraph, Conte is wanting to sign a new center back, right wing-back, two midfielders, a forward and a back-up goalkeeper.

Looks like they are in the same market for at least 3 players that we also are looking for, plus some back up players. Interesting to see who comes out on top of this Conte or the Pep lookalike postal boy.

We can now also add an additional trophy to the youngest squad one, the avoiding relegation trophy!

Mr Serge

Kilroy spurs will not a buy a top forward unless that player is moving Kane or son, they will buy a back up they need a holder not a progressive cm as they just bought bentacour,
We want a number one striker a number 8 cm and a left full back
So no we are not up against them for any player imo

Mr Serge

I also can’t see spurs buying 6 players considering they bought kula and bentacour already

Nigel Tufnel

Mk12 Was it Newcastle and Brentford he turned down? I had forgotten the actual English teams. I would have preferred him getting his playing time at either of those clubs over any French outfit. Much better experience against the rougher competition in the league. I don’t care what Pedro says now, but he would’ve been right to criticize Saliba for insisting on France. Playing great in England gets you in the French national team too. He’s probably ready anyway, but I would have pushed him for an English loan too if I were Edu. There was so much cretinous noise… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

I just saw Pedro’s response. I agree Brighton would have been an amazing place for him to get his playing time.

Anyone here really suggesting the level of competition in France is anywhere near England?

So where is Pedro wrong?

Mr Serge

Nigel saliba got to play in europe last season stands him in good stead for the upcoming one


Vieira there’s no way we’re buying two CFs this summer

If we are Eddie has to go out on loan which I think defeats the point of giving him 100k.

Nigel Tufnel


Good neutral comment on Saliba. Why does everyone have to have agenda here? Snipe at the blog writer constantly?

I was sick of hearing about Saliba in mid-season, but I’m glad for the player and more for the club that it’s worked out for now.

Kilroy and his only friend – who shall “not be underestimated”, will still be spinning it negatively.


Yes apparently in the world of Some Arsenal fans, it’s better to play a season at Brighton rather than Marseille, whereas in the real world I would imagine most professional footballers would opt for a team playing in Europe and finishing 2nd in Ligue un. No matter which way you try and paint it, Saliba made the right choice.

Why do certain fans have such an inflated opinion of the premiership ?

Nigel Tufnel

And as I continued scrolling, of course the doomsayers come out in force. Not even fairly good news on the day can make les miserables have some joy in our football club.

I feel sorry for them.

The Real Vieira Lynn

China 3 points in that regards (1) the fact that we started with 3 potential options up top last season, in Auba, nevergoals Laca and the purple patch kid, it didn’t seem out of the question to expect two CFs coming into the fold, especially with Jesus’s flexibility from a positional standpoint and our Thursday evening European misadventures on tap (2) if it’s to be believed that we were genuinely pursuing Vlahovic, it’s hard to imagine how Eddie and/or Jesus would meet the same tactical objectives, thereby one could logically conclude that another Striker, with considerable more height, might be… Read more »


Vieira you’re right that it does seem we’ve been kicking tires with bigger strikers unlike Jesus But then the question is this, we spend £85m or so on Jesus and scamacca. How many games per season are we expecting each of our 3 CFs to start? If they’re rotating that heavily none of them will get a proper flow and stable game time. Start today, dropped tomorrow all season. That’s also a lot of money to spend in one area considering we still need to fix the midfield, LB etc. As for why we’ve been chasing big strikers and Jesus,… Read more »


If we do sign 2 CFs in the same summer as we signed up Eddie, safe to say CF is the new CB and we’re planning to just overload on players

The Real Vieira Lynn

China I definitely get what you’re saying in regards to both Eddie and Jesus…as for the former, I’m certainly not convinced that he can ever be the kind of starting CF option who can take a club with supposed higher aspirations to the “promised” land, which is why I would have never re-upped him, especially if Jesus was one of our primary targets…not to mention, if Eddie’s main sticking point, renegotiation-wise, involved the securing of assurances about playing time, then why would he sign unless those very assurances were in the offing…after all, we all know MA’s propensity to offer… Read more »

The Real Vieira Lynn

brought not bought

Old & Wise

It would have been most preferable to have the Saliba prodigal return with news of him having signed a 2-year extension with a further AFC year’s option. All would have been acceptable to all parties. Saliba gets to experience the PL and prove to himself and any detractors, he has the potential to have a very credible career with the ability to back this up. AFC will be able to ask and receive a realistic fee from Rail Madrid, Barca, Man City et al. when history repeats itself again from the latter Wenger days to the Arteta regime. This would,… Read more »


We don’t know if the saliba loan has worked out yet, if he has another good season then he will have his pick of teams next summer with just a year left on his contract, in which case the loan and treatment will have been a mistake.
Hopefully he signs a new deal


I just feel if we have signed Jesus to be anything other then the main striker it will be an even clearer example of overpaying We could get a specialist winger in for the same money or less and a lower salary who would probably do a better job there. We shouldn’t be paying a lot of money to shoehorn players into their secondary roles I’d rather we went for a big profile CF this time and if we still wanna do things to the attack get in a real winger – especially as Pepe is presumably leaving. But if… Read more »


Like for me Jesus is a good, not yet amazing striker and a decent winger. Buying him proves our squad, no doubt about it. But does he take us to the next level? Not sure of that so far. Can he score 20 league goals next season? I’d love him to but I doubt it. If he plays on the wing will he outperform or even match saka? I doubt it. Jesus is good and as negative as I seem I do welcome him as a squad addition – but is this a clever use of limited resources? I’m not… Read more »


Which btw is the same thing I said of the Ben white signing give or take and one year on I can’t say his signing has been groundbreaking *so far*

Habesha Gooner

China To be honest there isn’t anyone else that is better than Jesus in the market when it comes to Center forwards. After Vlahovic, Kane, Haaland and Mbappe, there aren’t a lot of top class players Osihmen is good but he isn’t a guarantee either. And he would cost 80 mil+. Tammy Abraham, Darwin Nunez, Johnathan David, Patrìck Schick, Gianluca Scamacca, Aminie Gouiri, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Richarlison: these are the players that are available after Jesus. A lot of them would cost at least 40 mil in transfer fees. There is a shortage of top strikers in Europe. Out of… Read more »


Lol. What a post. Saliba announcing he’s staying cos he belongs to Arsenal and had 2 years left in his contract is supposed to be used to mock people? He’s reminding Arteta and the club the obvious. Play me now or risk losing me for free. It’s a dicey one. If he don’t play he don’t sign a new deal! So either he’s still sold this summer or we lose him for free cos Arteta sure won’t bench his golden White for Saliba. Saliba should never have gone on loan and White should never have been signed for 50m. Colossal… Read more »


lol I think some are getting a little lost regarding the Jesus transfer.

We are not a CL club and haven’t been for years.

Signing Jesus is actually notable for a club that have been CL starved.

And of course he comes in as a first team player and Nketiah will be his back-up.

That’s if he signs.


See some are warming to the idea of Zinchenko to the midfield now.

tbh I’m not sure Zinchenko would be a great success at Arsenal but I see much better overall attributes regarding him over Tielemans.

If it’s a toss up between Zinchenko and Tielemans then it’s Zinchenko every time.


Let’s hope Arteta learns from last season and starts next season better prepared.. Covid was blamed for our poor start but in all honesty, i don’t think things would have turned out a lot different without covid as pre season was a bit of a shambles. A settled starting 11, with a settled formation in the final couple of pre season games will see us go into the new season with positivity. We are normally given a tough start to the season in the fixture list , let’s hope this time we can avoid the top 3 in the opening… Read more »


Hey Zeus is coming😛


I’m definitely warming towards the idea of Jesus coming. I also saw that Martinelli chose an interesting picture of himself, and in the background it was no one else but Jesus. They are having a banter for sure. I like the player and maybe a few days ago I was in two minds about it as he is the same profile of striker as Nketiah, but I do think that’s secondary as most of the time we will need our plan A and for the moment, we should concentrate on upgrading our plan A before we get to worry for… Read more »


Killroy, you are entirely right. Pedro cheerleaders are buying the koolAid. Saliba has just followed the script given to him by his agent. Says nothing controversial and keep your option open. Marseille still wants him but may not have the fund to buy him outright. So no need to burn his bridges with Arsenal. Real Madrid are also interested but wants first to know whether is. They don’t want to be burnt like they have with the MBappe pursuit. Also he is a low priority for them, so theyvmay decide to come back next summer. With only two years left… Read more »


New post ofc.


Personally in view of where Arsenal is from football and financial perspective, I don’t see the attraction of the deal for Jesus, especially not at the numbers banded around. I think that ManCity know what they are doing. Pep played him two seasons as a striker and he was not pulling any tree. So they moved him to the wings They bought Torres as a winger and moved him centrally ahead of Jesus him. Last summer They then tried to get Kane. Last season they still rather play without a No9 than trust Jesus. They realised that they needed an… Read more »


Listening t the podcast, the talk of Gnabry…..
Can we dare to dream? Real Madrid have ruled themselves out. Let’s hope Liverpool don’t go in for him. Move heaven and get that man. We can take de jong or Savic next season.