Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta welcomes questions about why he decided to allow £27-million signing Saliba to leave, but he still believes in the 19-year-old.
understands that concerns are being raised about Gunner’s decision to grant
on a loan, but Arteta says that the teenage defenseman has a promising future in North London.
Saliba was supposed to fit in the club smoothly, with his talent ready to be welcomed by a Premier League club that has endured defensive struggles.
The 19-year-old is linked with a move to the French club Nice for the rest of the season and the Arsenal manager points out he will not give up on Saliba.
“I want to protect the player that we signed and the future we have alongside him and the best way to do that is to give him minutes to play.
"He has been really good, it has been a difficult few months for him to cope with that situation but I see the development that he has made, the progression that he has shown over the months and now he is ready to compete.
“He is going to a really strong league as well, a league he knows really well, he has experience [there] and he needs to play as many games as possible to be ready for us from next season.
“I know that sometimes it is difficult to explain or understand after the money the club spent bringing him in, sending him on loan, but a lot of things have happened to him, he is a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well.
Saliba made his debut for Nice in a 2-0 defeat against Brest.