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Talks with William Saliba over a new contract are progressing well, according to the reliable Chris Wheatley.
The 21-year-old was in spectacular form for Marseille this season, and the French football establishment took notice.
Saliba was rewarded with the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award for a superb season.
Since joining the Gunners in 2019, the Frenchman is yet to make an appearance for the club.
Multiple loan spells back to his homeland have been authorised by the club in an attempt to develop him away from the harsh Emirates spotlight.
A price tag of £27 million on young shoulders would be a burden to some, but not the Bondy-born star, whose meteoric rise away from London Colney has seen him capped for the French national team on five occasions already.
With such a unique talent on their hands, the Gunners are keen to retain his services for a long time yet.
They envision Saliba as the embodiment of their present and future, along with talents such as Bukayo Saka.
Journalist Chris Wheatley reports as much, writing that:
“William Saliba contract [are] talks going positively with [the] Frenchman set to return for pre-season training shortly. The French defender will be at Arsenal for the 2022-23 season, as confirmed by manager Mikel Arteta and people close to the player.”
Arsenal face a gruelling fixture schedule in the coming season.
With both the condensed fixture list caused by the winter World Cup in Qatar and the return of Europa League football, strength in depth is more important than ever.
At the centre of the Gunners ethos in recent windows has been the ambitious “project youth”, with actions both on and off the pitch aiming to orient the historic red and white around the stars of today and tomorrow.
So far this transfer window, technical director Edu has zoned in on this.
The latter two being 25-years-old, the philosophy is clear, sign young players, or players exiting their footballing infancy and entering their prime.
Moving to extend Saliba’s contract is another brick in the foundation of the project, one that becomes more resolute by the day.
Time will tell whether the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year will extend his deal, however, with “talks going positively”, the Gunners faithful will feel the bubbling sense of optimism around the Emirates growing even more.
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