Ben Jacobs thinks that William Sailba’s injury troubles could increase his chances of being awarded a new contract at Arsenal.
Saliba has been at Arsenal since 2019 when he signed from Saint-Etienne, but this season has been his first full one at Arsenal following three loan spells in France.
The 22-year old has been key to Arsenal’s successes this season as they sat on top of the Premier League table from Matchweek 3 all the way until Matchweek 33, when they were finally overtaken by Manchester City.
Part of the reason they’ve been caught by Pep Guardiola’s side is due to the injuries of some key players, none more so than Saliba, who picked up a back injury in mid-March that ruled him out for the season.
In the nine games the Frenchman’s missed so far, the Gunners have won just four league matches, drawing three and losing two.
With Sailba’s Arsenal contract expiring at the end of next season, Jacobs told GIVEMESPORT that he thinks because of how much the defender’s absence has affected Mikel Arteta’s side, a new contract could be on the cards despite his injury troubles.
“The trickiest contract is William Saliba. Simply because he returned from a loan spell at Marseille and was less clear on his role and his future when the season started. It was never going to be as advanced as other discussions because Saliba had to understand his role in the team and Arsenal had to understand Saliba.
“It has become clear pretty quickly how integral he’s been. His injury just underlines that Arsenal need Saliba. In a perverse way, getting injured might help him with contract negotiations because his absence is felt so strongly. It’s obvious that Saliba needs to extend and he might be able to use that to get the best possible deal.”
When he was fit, Saliba’s partnership with Gabriel at the back for Arsenal looked impenetrable and despite Jakub Kiwior’s best efforts at standing in for him, it just hasn’t been the same.