Arsenal: William Saliba recall the perfect solution to persistent problem

Arsenal, Calum Chambers (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Calum Chambers (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

Arsenal have to figure out how to bolster their defensive situation without over-saturating. Finding a way to recall William Saliba is the perfect solution.

Arsenal were already having too many injury problems before Calum Chambers ruptured his ACL. Now, they are in even more of a desperate situation. And while the transfer window is officially open, this is not as simple as “buy another guy”.

It was already highly likely that the Gunners would pursue help at centerback this January, with rumors of Dayot Upamecano being available, despite the earlier reports that he wouldn’t be. That’s a delectable possibility, but beyond that, we have to consider the implications here.

I spent some time dissecting Calum Chambers situation in particular, and how we need to assess how much we want him to factor into the future of the club, because that’s going to have a big impact who we can go after, and if we potentially need more than one.

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William Salibe would be such an ideal solution. There are talks that the Gunners are exploring how to recall him from his loan to St. Etienne half a season early. After purchasing him for £27m in the summer, the terms required him to spend one more year at St. Etienne before moving to the Emirates, but undoing that would solve everything.

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The thing is, we don’t want to replace Chambers or Holding. We want them healthy. If they get healthy and the way is so crowded that there’s nowhere to go, that’s no good.

The plan was already in place to just make it to the summer, then Saliba could provide necessary reinforcement to a depleted defense that will likely further deplete in the summer. But we really don’t want to have to reshape until the summer. I would like to see Mustafi and Sokratis leave the club in the summer, Mustafi potentially this winter if it’s possible, but that’s the thing—how much do you reinvest in the defense knowing that we will have far more resources come summer time?

Getting Saliba now would “replace” Chambers as much as he should be replaced. We were already going to get him, so getting him early alleviates the pressure, both monetarily and on the club’s personnel.

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St. Etienne may harbor some hopes of getting into a Champions League place, so it probably won’t be easy, but this should be given far higher priority over buying another centerback. We already did, after all.