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AC Milan Registered Interest in £27m Arsenal Fringe Star

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It’s an international break and Arsenal players are in the headlines.

Only eight matches into the season and transfer talk is already bubbling away, although for good reason as Arsenal are just seven weeks away from the January transfer window opening.

An impressive summer of incomings saw the spine of the team bolstered with Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey brought in; it wasn’t enough though, as we were still left unimpressed by others areas that weren’t tended to.

These included a lack of departures and sections of the squad still lacking. Of course, the financial circumstances and global climate ensured the market was among the toughest ever to contend with, thus a degree of empathy is required.

One area that baffled all and remains a topic of severe frustration is William Saliba. Costing £27m and being loaned out for the 2019/20 season was an obligation enforced by Saint-Etienne that Arsenal were powerless to oppose, but the resulting decisions still have us irked.

 

As per transfer guru Fabrizio Romano on the Here We Go Podcast, AC Milan attempted to lure the Frenchman away from north London, leaving the door open for a future swoop.

“Arsenal are considering to send Saliba on loan. Arsenal not happy with his situation at the club, just for the player. AC Milan tried to sign him on permanent deal but Arsenal immediately said no. They want him in the future.”

Milan’s offer came during the summer, but was rightly batted away as it would have been ludicrous to part permanently with a player who’d yet to play a competitive fixture with the club. Fortunately, they agree. The problem is, however, he’s still not made his senior Arsenal debut.

The situation is a mess.

Circumstances have arisen that have hindered his integration and progression – a devastating family bereavement among them – but him being exempt from the Europa League squad continues to baffle. Although, the blame is not all the manager’s, with the recruitment side of operations needing to be questioned as well.

Loaning him out, even until January, wouldn’t have been perceived as a failure in my eyes as he’s still only 19, but to then keep hold of him and offer him little chance of staking a claim begs belief.

I Rossoneri interest – potentially as a loan – will provide options in January, yet would not be a scenario best suited to his development. Saliba needs to learn the English game, not Serie A. Moving to Italy would do more harm than good. Learning a new language, style of play and culture are additional hurdles for a player just coming to terms with those he’s faced with.

Under-23’s football does not suffice at this point in time, and while calls for Saliba to get minutes in the Premier League persist, Mikel Arteta‘s issues lie at the other end of the pitch and are unlikely to enforce a defensive reshuffle.

 

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