Whilst much of the Arsenal transfer chat is focused on who we could be welcoming through the doors, extending the contracts of existing players remains a priority.
Freelance journalist and contributor to the Fresh Arsenal Show, Freddie Paxton, has revealed that Arsenal have agreed a new deal with William Saliba.
Paxton released a tweet on Friday morning stating that the Gunners held positive talks with the 21-year-old and all that is needed now is an official announcement.
It is my understanding that William Saliba has already agreed a new deal to extend his #AFC contract after positive talks before the US tour. Arsenal pleased with his development and see him as an important part of the future. No word on when an official announcement is expected. pic.twitter.com/EDVSxjTkSg
— Freddie Paxton (@Freddie_Paxton) July 22, 2022
It’s superbly encouraging news for Arsenal fans who have been desperate to see the Frenchman pull on a red and white jersey for the first team ever since his arrival in 2019.
Three loan spells at each of Saint Etienne, OGC Nice and Marseille have resulted in Saliba gaining huge admiration from Arsenal fans and a host of Europe’s top clubs.
A player who’s current contract runs out until 2024, it seemed like a make or break season for Saliba’s development at the club with the potential to cash in on a hugely desirable asset.
However, Mikel Arteta and his team have made it incredibly clear that Saliba is crucial to the plans for the future and tying the defender down to a new contract was important.
Saliba has already featured in two of Arsenal’s three official pre-season games as he continues to develop a relationship with Gabriel Magalhaes, his most likely partner at centre back.
But the Frenchman has a lot of work to do to prove he’s got what it takes to start over Ben White, who pulled off a hugely successful season at the back with Gabriel.
With Takehiro Tomiyasu still nursing a minor muscle injury, there’s talk of White potentially starting at right-back when Arsenal kick off their campaign against Crystal Palace on Friday August 5th.
That already shows the flexibility that Saliba’s return has given Arteta, with him now having three top choice centre back options to choose from this season.