Thursday, September 28, 2023

Arsenal Defensive Ace Is On The Radar Of Napoli: Should Arteta Cash In On Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Tuttomercatoweb stated that Arsenal defensive ace William Saliba is on the radar of Napoli this summer. It is believed that the Italian outfit are monitoring the progress of the Gunners centre-back who prefers to return from his loan spell from Marseille and fight for his place in Mikel Arteta’s first XI.

Saliba’s Impressive Form In French Football

Saliba experienced a solid loan spell at the Orange Vélodrome as he managed to establish himself as a prominent presence at the heart of Marseille’s backline. The Bondy-born centre-back made 52 appearances for the French outfit this season, picking up seven yellow cards in the process across all competitions.

The 21-year-old has been a rock at the back for the French outfit based on his average of 1.5 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.2 clearances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1. He has even been accurate when distributing possession from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 93.1% in the French top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Arsenal (William Saliba)
Marseille’s French defender William Saliba looks on during the UEFA Europa Conference League match between Basel and Marseille (OM) at the St. Jakob-Park Stadium in Basel, northern Switzerland, on March 17, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Arsenal Cash In On Saliba This Summer?

Saliba can get stuck in with some solid tackles to make life difficult for the opposition and usually times his challenges well to secure the ball back for his side on the defensive end of the field.

The two-time France international doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball to clear the danger when required and excels at playing his way out from the back.

At 21, Saliba has got the potential to become a class act in his position someday. Hence, Arsenal should not entertain any offers for him this summer as the player has still got more than two years left to run in his contract.

Mikel Arteta would be better off not cashing in on Saliba in this off-season and should rather think about giving him a chance to prove his worth in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign. The French talent has got what it takes to become a success story at the Emirates Stadium in the future. Thus, the Gunners should consider keeping hold of Saliba beyond this summer despite Napoli’s recent interest in the youngster.

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