You may have heard the news by now that William Saliba will not be playing for St Etienne in the French cup final.
It’s such as shame, as it would have been a valuable experience for the youngster and he even had Arteta’s blessing. However, we can’t complain if the club are trying to make sure that Saliba is fit for next season, even if he can’t play in Arsenal’s remaining matches during this campaign. Additionally, there was the little matter of a £2m payout to St Etienne if he played in one more match. Therefore, you can understand Arsenal’s reluctance to let Saliba play.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge fan of the Frenchman. However, since Arteta left him out of the side, Arsenal have recorded two victories.
There has been talk of Guendouzi moving on for big money. Personally, I wouldn’t want to let him go. He has huge potential and I believe that Arteta can work magic with this rough diamond. I’m not put off at all by his ‘sledging’ at Brighton. To paraphrase Jamie Redknapp, it’s what you expect in the professional game, even if it is distasteful to many of us.
Aubamemeyang and Pepe
Other news on the internet concerns Aubameyang and Pepe, who won’t have to play in the African Cup of Nations until 2022. Assuming Auba is not transferred this summer, and I think he will be, it is a massive boost for Arsenal to know that the two won’t be disappearing for around a month in January next year.
As you may already know, I would not be prepared to Auba the same salary that Ozil receives or anything near it. I’m not saying that Auba’s not worth it. On the contrary, Auba is worth it, but Arsenal simply can’t afford it, unless they can offload Ozil, described as the one of the worst players in the world without the ball by ex-Gunner, Paul Merson.
Talking of Ozil, there seems to be no way back for the German. I really think that Arteta has handled the situation well by saying the door is always open, or words to that effect. The truth is if Ozil can put a shift in, he should get back into the team. However, there are no signs that he’s ready to do this. As Merson seems to suggest, Ozil is a 10/10 with the ball and a 0/10 without it. This current Arsenal team cannot afford to carry passengers, so I don’t think we’ll see again on the pitch for a while.