has highlighted the need for William Saliba to return to the Arsenal squad. There had been uncertainty surrounding his future but Holding’s performance epitomised the need for change.
Holding was red-carded in the first half of the match against Spurs which hampered the Gunners‘ chances at taking anything from the match.
Even before Holding was dismissed, he showed a lack of positional awareness and was rash with his tackles.
Saliba has been excellent for Marseille this season and was sent out on loan due to Holding being higher than him in the Arsenal pecking order.
This must now surely change at the end of the season.
Arsenal are short in the central defence position as Arteta only has Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Holding to choose from.
Pablo Mari was loaned out to Udinese in the January transfer window.
At Marseille, Saliba has shown the maturity required to be a regular Premier League centre-back, playing more minutes than any other player aged 20 and under in Europe’s top five leagues.
The French defender has proven to be crucial for Jorge Sampaoli’s side and has started every Ligue 1 match since joining the club.
“Speaking about his loan move away from Arsenal in a recent interview with French outlet L’equipe, Saliba said:”They are often in contact with my agent.
I left on loan, I played matches and, thanks to my performances, I became a [senior] international.
“I’m sure I can’t just be on the bench at Arsenal and be happy. I want to play as a starter. Afterwards, if I come into the rotation as a substitute, it’s not like staying with the Under-23s and never being in the squad.“.
These comments come as a major boost to Arsenal fans, and to Arteta, as it was unclear whether Saliba wanted to stay in north London.
These comments highlight the strong mentality of the Frenchman that he is ready to stay and fight for a place at Arsenal even if he is not in the starting line-up.
After Holding’s disappointing display against Tottenham, and the uncertainty surrounding his future, it is time for Arteta to re-insert Saliba back into the Arsenal side and give him the chance to prove himself in a Gunners shirt.
He has impressed while away on loan and the Gunners could regret not giving him the necessary chances in the Premier League.