Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Edu got transfer decision right as Europa League draw shows

Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win

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Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Edu should eventually reap the rewards of not including an option to buy in the season-long loan deal which saw William Saliba head to Marseille this summer. The youngster put in another strong display on Thursday which caught the eye of the French media, suggesting the Gunners will have a serious talent on their hands when he returns for next season.

On Thursday night, Marseille battled to a 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow in which Saliba put together another dominant display.

The French media have been full of praise for the Arsenal loanee, who has featured in all of Marseille’s Ligue 1 games so far this campaign.

“As since the start of the season, the centre-back on loan from Arsenal put in a serious performance,” said Maxifoot.

The 20-year-old has plenty of opportunities to show his metal at Marseille, with Jorge Sampaoli’s attacking style often leaving the defence exposed.

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While that leaves Saliba with plenty of work to do, it also grants him opportunities to shine which he has grasped with both hands.

Although Arteta and Edu have rightly been questioned for their decision to send him out on loan in the first place, Fabrizio Romano claims that they insisted on there being no option to buy in the arrangement.

That now seems like an extremely smart move, ensuring that the starlet will head back to the Emirates for the start of next season.

It remains to be seen whether Arteta will still be in a job by then given the Gunners’ rocky start to the campaign.

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The decision to continue Saliba’s development over in France came under intense scrutiny when the north London side shipped nine goals in their first three Premier League games.

That catastrophic run left the Gunners goalless, pointless and bottom of the table for the first time in their history after three games.

A new centre-back pairing of Ben White and Gabriel secured their first clean sheet of the season against Norwich City, but the steadying presence of Saliba could also have been crucial during a tough opening few weeks.

It is the third season in a row which the defender has spent on loan in Ligue 1, with previous spells at St Etienne and Nice somehow failing to convince Arteta of his worth to the side.

Two years after signing, Saliba is yet to make his senior bow for the Gunners, although there is little doubt that he will be in a position to kickstart his Arsenal career when the loan spell is up.

The fact he will almost certainly return for next season is a credit to Arteta and Edu, but his absence this campaign could also be their undoing if one or both men suddenly find themselves out of a job.

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