William Saliba is having a brilliant season out on loan to Ligue 1 side, Olympique Marseille and we’re not the only ones who have noticed. The defender is being linked with numerous European clubs, including Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Arsenal will want to keep a hold of the 20-year-old who is starting to become one of the most sought after centre-backs. But, will he return to North London and if so, how will he fit into Arsenal’s defensive lineup?
The Arsenal Way’s Tom Canton (TC) and Bailey Keogh (BK) who discussed this exact scenario on Monday morning’s Arsenal Agenda show.
BK: I fully expect him to come back. But bringing him back won’t change the formation back to a back three. That’s one thing I would not do. Simply because our backup centre-backs aren’t good enough.
“Once Saliba, Gabriel and Ben White are fit 100% all of the time, I don’t want Rob Holding to come in or anyone like that. Tomiyasu, fair enough he can come in. But, the level will drop.
“I would rather keep four at the back and do what Liverpool do with Matip, Van Dijk and Konate. It creates good competition and keeps the level high. If you just have Saliba, White and Gabriel every game, they know they’re starting every game.
“Let Gabriel and White compete with Saliba for that starting place in the back four and it will just elevate their game. Because they’ll know that they want to stay in the side. I’d like to see a bit of rotation between the centre-backs.
“Praying that we’re in European competition, the European League or the Champions League. Not the conference league, then we can’t play three at the back. We simply can’t. We don’t have the squad depth anyway.
“I expect Saliba to come back and be rotates with Gabriel and Ben White.”
TC: “I like the formation. I’ve been a big fan of the formation of a back three. After success seen with Conte and Thomas Tuchel. So, I think it’s a system that can work. We’ve won an FA Cup playing that system.
“There is history there. But, yes you’re right we need more depth at centre-back if we’re going to try and play that role. I like Tomiyasu, I feel like he can come in and play in that position.
“We would need to bring in a much better right wing-back as well. You can argue that Tierney can play in that role at left centre-back if you need him to. At times he does that for Scotland.
“But, you’re also in that position that if you’re playing in a back three. You’re either playing a 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1 with a ten or a 3-5-2. We don’t really play with two strikers. Although we could sign two in the summer.”
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