Football

Kevin Campbell sends message to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over William Saliba


Saliba will join up with Arsenal next season (Picture: Getty Images)

Former Arsenal star Kevin Campbell has backed William Saliba to walk straight into the Gunners’ defence when he returns from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne next season.

The north London side spent £27million on the highly-rated young defender last season, before loaning him back to the Ligue 1 outfit for this campaign.

Despite missing a large chunk of this term through a foot injury, the 19-year-old has turned heads with his dominant defensive displays in France.

Speaking to the Chronicles of a Gooner podcast, Campbell said: ‘We made a very astute signing last year which many gave the club stick for: Saliba.

‘At least we’ve got a centre half, a big, strong, quick, centre half who is going to go straight into that side. He has to.

‘Do we need another one? Yes we probably do. Will we get one? Who knows?

‘If we can get Saliba in and bed him in nicely then at least the defence is a lot younger and is a lot stronger.’

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Arteta will have a selection headache in defence next season (Picture: Getty Images)

Since arriving in December, Mikel Arteta has enjoyed a positive start to his career as Arsenal boss, losing just twice in 13 games in charge, and Campbell admitted his old side are heading in the right direction.

He added: ‘We’ve got the right manager but now we’ve got to get the right players in.

‘I don’t think we’ve got the right balance of player in our system to play the way Mikel Arteta wants.

‘There’s a lot of toing and froing of who knows what’s going to happen with this season?’

The Spanish boss will want to keep hold of his top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, amid interest from Manchester United and Barcelona.

The Gabon international has just one year remaining on his current Arsenal deal, and negotiations for an extension haven’t come to fruition.

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