Arsenal warned against 'real mistake' after source's Saliba update - pundit

By Kevin Phillips

30th Apr, 2022 | 1:00pm

Arsenal warned against transfer 'mistake' after source's 'strange' William Saliba update - pundit

Kevin Phillips has warned Arsenal could be making a “real mistake” if they don’t utilise William Saliba next season.

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 21-year-old’s “experience” at the highest level in France makes his inclusion in Mikel Arteta’s plans a “no-brainer”.

An Arsenal source told this site on Monday (25 April) that Arteta is not planning a first-choice role for Saliba when he returns from his loan spell at Marseille this summer.

The French giants are understood to be keen to convert the defender’s temporary stay into a permanent one ahead of the main transfer window.

Saliba has impressed in 48 outings across all competitions this term and earned his first France caps last month.

Phillips insisted it would be “strange” for Arteta to write the defender off before casting a close eye over him this summer.

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“That could be a real mistake, potentially,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“He’s got real experience now at the very highest level, so you have to question why Mikel Arteta would be willing to throw that away. It’s strange.

“Obviously we’re not privy to the conversations that go on behind closed doors. We don’t know his character.

“But from the outside looking in, it does seem like a no-brainer to bring him in given that experience he has under his belt, and also what he’s done internationally now as well.

“It could be a real mistake, so Arsenal will have to take their time and get it right this summer.”

Saliba signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for a reported fee of £27million.

The Bondy-born defender is contracted until 2024.

In other news, pundit claims Arsenal set for Marcus Rashford “meeting” after “shock” transfer reveal.