William Saliba finally set for second Arsenal debut after Mikel Arteta snubs

Arsenal youngster William Saliba is finally set to make his second debut for the club after being shunned by manager Mikel Arteta.

The French central defender joined the Gunners back in 2019 from Saint-Etienne for £27million but has since been loaned out three times to his former club, Nice and Marseille. However, he looks set to have a starring role for Arteta's side this season after his impressive campaign in France last season.

Saliba is expected to make his first Arsenal appearance for two years on Saturday, with Football London reporting he will feature in their pre-season friendly against Everton in Baltimore.

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Arsenal take on the Toffees at the 70,000 capacity M&T Bank Stadium in their third match of pre-season as they continue their preparations for next season.

If Saliba makes an appearance, it will represent his second debut for the Gunners having previously made his first appearance in a 2020 friendly against MK Dons.

He was also an unused substitute against Liverpool in the Community Shield later that summer but has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Arsenal first team in his three years with the club.

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Saliba has, however, played seven times for Arsenal's under-23 side, including two appearances in the Papa John's Trophy in 2020.

His return to the Emirates Stadium comes after a highly impressive season in his homeland with Marseille, which ended with the club finishing second in Ligue 1 and qualifying for the Champions League.

As a reward for his performances, Saliba was named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and was also included in the league's Team of the Year.

Arteta admitted back in May that Saliba would be a part of his squad next season, explaining: "He needs to come back. He has the experience and environment necessary to be competitive for us."

Saliba is understood to be prepared to force a move away from the club if he is not handed regular game time by Arteta this coming season, though.

Still only 21, Saliba is now a senior France international and has won five caps since making his debut back in March. He is set to compete with Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White and Rob Holding for a place in the centre of Arsenal's defence next season.


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