By Kevin Campbell

23rd May, 2022 | 5:37am

Arsenal idol demands William Saliba U-turn after transfer stance confirmed

Kevin Campbell has urged Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to hand William Saliba a first-team role next season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Gunners and Everton striker said the time has come for the 21-year-old to “stake a claim” at the Emirates.

Saliba has spent the 2021-22 campaign on loan with Marseille.

The centre-half has excelled in Ligue 1 and has been awarded the division’s young player of the year award as a result.

Speaking after Marseille’s 4-0 win over Strasbourg, via GFFN (22 May), Saliba revealed he wishes to return to Marseille next season to play in the Champions League.

The France international joined Arsenal in 2019 but is still yet to make a first-team appearance.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

His contract at the Emirates runs until the end of 2024.

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his assessment of Saliba’s situation, Campbell said: “Saliba is coming back to the club like a new signing.

“He has not kicked a ball in anger for the football club.

“I think he would have been the perfect player to come into the team when [Ben] White was injured.

“He has learnt more with Marseille than he would have sitting on the bench with Arsenal.

“Now is the time for him to come back. It is all about timing. This is the time for him to come back and stake his claim. Let’s see him in an Arsenal shirt. We could do with him.”

In other news, a source has revealed Swansea City are in advanced talks to sign an Arsenal 18-year-old.