William Saliba’s inclusion in the final shortlist for the 2021 Golden Boy award has prompted a huge reaction from Arsenal fans.
The defender, who is currently on loan from the Gunners at Marseille, is in contention to claim the prestigious award that is given to the most impressive young footballer playing in Europe.
Saliba is joined in the top 20 by Arsenal teammate Bukayo Saka, as well as representatives from other Premier League clubs – including Manchester United wonderkid Mason Greenwood.
But for many Gunners supporters, there has been plenty said about Saliba’s nomination.
The fact he has been recognised as one of Europe’s best young talents has caused some to once again question Mikel Arteta ‘s decision to loan the centre-back out.
Despite arriving in north London in the summer of 2019, Saliba is yet to play a competitive game for the club and his latest loan spell is the third overall.
A return ahead of next season is likely as Arsenal are said to be pleased with how the central defender is progressing at the Stade Velodrome, and the 20-year-old is in regular contact with loans manager Ben Knapper.
Although judging by the responses on Twitter and Reddit, there’s a belief that Saliba is ready to be an option for Arteta right now.
@MilardiMoi said: “Yet @m8arteta said Saliba is not ready to play at @Arsenal.”
@TsuloP said: “The same Saliba that’s not ready?”
midas22 said: “Saliba is apparently not ready for this level so I don’t see why anyone else would be either.”
Whilst some Arsenal fans may not agree with the decision to loan out Saliba again, the 20-year-old himself has said it is beneficial.
“We’ve done a big start to the season, even if the three last games haven’t been positive with two losses in Ligue 1. We’re going to come back to try and win,” he said as per L’Equipe. “I have been welcomed really well by my teammates and the fans.
“For me, it’s a very good choice, it’s the club I needed, with a very good pressure. At my age, it’s good to play in a stadium like that.”