Saliba Going Back to Ligue 1
It’s understandable that Saliba is most keen on going back to France. After the tumultuous period he’s had at Arsenal with professional and personal issues intertwined, wanting to see familiar faces in a comfortable environment is expected.
However, while that may be his preference, it is not the best move for his career.
The case Saliba may well make is that, firstly, he will be guaranteed regular football, especially at his former club, even if he may be in bad form. They love him as much as he loves them, a club who have absolute faith in his ability and personality.
Furthermore, his familiarity with the league and teammates mean there will be no bedding in period, something he may have to do twice in the space of six months since moving to Arsenal should he stay in England. Language comes into it, too.
Last of all, Ligue 1 is top-flight football. It may be classed as a ‘farmer’s league’, and the gulf in class between the top three or four and the rest of the division is vast, but you don’t get the likes of Neymar or Houssem Aouar in the Championship.
For the ‘transition year’ that Arteta wanted Saliba to undergo, the defender will back the better quality of opposition in France as the best place to begin his learning.
Arsenal disagree. Rightly so.