William Saliba will rejoin Arsenal – but he can’t play yet

Saint-Etienne, William Saliba (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Saint-Etienne, William Saliba (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images) /

Many Arsenal fans have been eager to see William Saliba in action, but despite Ligue 1 canceling the season, he won’t feature for Arsenal until 2020-21.

It seems he has the future of Arsenal’s backline on his shoulders, and his shoulders alone. The only problem is, he hasn’t even turned 20 yet.

To say that the expectations are high for William Saliba is an understatement. Many see him as the man set to finally make Arsenal’s backline an impenetrable wall once again, like it was when the likes of Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, and Kolo Toure were manning it.

Of course, you must not get too carried away. Like I mentioned, he is only 19, and there’s not much of a chance he’s going to be a star center-back in the Premier League right off the bat. Saliba is going to need time to develop, but boy, when looking at his physique and his all-round talent, he’s probably going to be an exceptionally scary player to come up against once he is developed fully.

Arsenal fans have been aching to see Saliba in their famous red and white for quite some time, and with Ligue 1 being canceled and the Premier League still planning to finish their season, many Gooners were hoping to see the young Frenchman suit up for the home stretch of the season, whenever and wherever that may be.

While Saliba will return to the Emirates, he will unfortunately not be able to play in a competitive match for Arsenal until the 2020-21 season begins.

While this might have been a big blow had Arsenal’s center-backs been in the form that they were in before Emery’s sacking, the likes of Mustafi and Luiz have actually been rather fantastic ever since Mikel Arteta came into the fray late in 2019. Arsenal looks more solid at the back than they have in quite some time, but with the nature of the players involved, you can’t help but think that it’s set to implode at some point.

William Saliba has been struggling with injuries this season but has been fantastic for St Etienne whenever fit, just as he was last season. Despite being a teenager, the Frenchman has shown immense composure and maturity during his time in ASSE’s first-team, and Arsenal will benefit from that in the long-run.

Next. Nicolas Pepe will have a breakout 2020-21 season. dark

While he might not be the shutdown star center-back right away, expect William Saliba to grow into a world-class player for Arsenal under the guidance of Mikel Arteta.