Keep, loan, sell: Saliba, Mavropanos, Mari?

So still looking our defense, we have three players on loan who are doing relatively well.

Saliba, until February, was one of the best defenders of Ligue 1. Great at reading the game, rather pacey for a CB and rather comfortable moving the ball forward through passing or running with the ball, he was touted for a France call-up recently. His level has dropped since a month or so though. He has been most comfortable in a back 3 system but has done fine also in a back 4 system. A clear talent, will he and should he be given a chance at AFC? He could be sold for 30 Mln+.

Mavropanos, our young Greek defender has been performing well in the Bundesliga since last year. His displays have been more than honorable and he is usually his team’s best defender but his team is really struggling this year and he cannot hold the fort alone. Another good young defender…What to do with him?

Mari, playing regularly and decently in Italy since his move. Not setting the word on fire but putting a good shift in Serie A. The pace of the Serie A may be better suited to him and he has indicated that he wants to be a starter at this stage of his career. Another player whose future will be scrutinized this summer..

We have 3 CBs: White, Gabs, Holding and Tierney could deputize as a LCB too if required but we may wish to add a 4th CB to our squad and the options are to keep one of the players mentionned above or to go into the market and look for a CB. So what is your take on Saliba, Mavro and Mari?


24 Responses to Keep, loan, sell: Saliba, Mavropanos, Mari?

  1. fred1266 says:

    Maupay really consistent always trying to injure a goalkeeper

  2. fred1266 says:

    I thought we already sold Mari

    Mari and Cedric what we’re we thinking when we signed them

  3. fred1266 says:

    Definitely keep saliba, would be sad to push holding down the pecking order but if things go well we would be back in CL next season so everyone should get gametime

  4. RC78 says:

    Hi Fred – Mari is on loan but like Guendouzi (can be considered sold for 11 Mln) and Torreira, it is expected that he will join another club but maybe not Torino…who knows?

    As for Saliba, he is a good defender. Will he want to fight for a starting place at AFC? This is the question and his competition would be White’s spot basically…Not easy to dislodge White for 2 reasons: expensive signing and good performances so far. Also, Holding is kind of seen as White’s back-up…and Saliba is not a Gabriel type of defender…so given the above, I think we may even sell Saliba without having seen him play once for our first team – what a transfer! The one player we should have gotten from France that summer was Fofana who now plays for Leicester – before his injury, he was just crazy good and Mbappe told PSG to buy him many times…Fofana could easily give a run for his money to both White and Gabriel…Fofana, White, Gabs – that would be a fortress!

  5. omgarsenal says:

    Saliba is one for the future and we can always make a place for him, the others could ,if sold, provide a sufficient return to bring in 1 or 2 necessary, top-quality players what with Chelsea’s current issues maybe offering some real talent.

  6. RA says:

    Hi RC,

    An interesting Post — well done.

    from my perspective, it is not really a question of what I, or any other Arsenal fan would do with the lads you name – though I do have an opinion on it – but it is much more difficult to understand what Arteta intends to do.

    He is difficult to read – and his decision making as to whether he sells or retains players can be very confusing.
    Of course, as manager he can and will make his own mind up, but given the monies expended on these players, which we will probably not recover, if he sells them, so, I am at a loss to work out what he is driving at.

    In any event he has improved Arsenal this season, and given us a good chance to get back into the Champions League, so I guess he has earned the right to do what he sees fit as regards the coming or going of the CBs and all the other players at Arsenal now – or in the future.

    Leaving that aside, I would keep Mavropanos, based on his pre-loan performances, and also I would be inclined to keep Saliba — with the acknowledgment that I have not seen much of their careers to explain why I would say that.

    Mari? I do not think there is a place for him at Arsenal.

  7. RC78 says:

    Hi RA – good to read you! Where have you been hiding 😛

    Posts are just asking the opinion of the fans – ultimately Arteta will make the decision with Edu. I would tend to sell Mavro and Mari, to extend Saliba’s contract but loan him out to either Marseille (if CL footie is secured there) or a good outfit in the EPL to further progress his development.

  8. pbarany says:

    I think we have already kind of sold Mavropanos – we planted an obligation to buy if Szuttgart stays in the Bundesliga and an option to byu if they get relega

  9. pbarany says:

    relegated. And all for a ridiculously low price.
    So my opinion doesn’t mean much, but I am sure – based on statistics alone (which is only half of the whole picture, but at least a half) – that he is our best defender on our books, well beyond Mari, Saliba, Holding and White.

    So while I appreciate Arteta reinventing our core and fighting for the #4 place, I still think he is a terrible resource analyzer and a regressive value offender when it comes to repeatedly destroying Arsenal “property”.

    Mari is a bit old to be a long-term prospect, but he has a fine left foot, so I won’t mind if he become the understudy of Gabriel, but that’s not very likely. We might go into next season with a single left-footed central defender, but assuming we need 6 CBs (probably 5 would suffice) I would keep the current trio of White, Gabriel and Holding, and pick Mavropanos, Saliba and Ballard. That would keep a young team. Kirk and Monlouis should stay with the U23 team and find a proper loan for Rekik to give him a chance to play against adults. And the season after we can see who performed the best among Ballard, Saliba, Rekik and Mavropanos – but the last part is definitely a fantasy. Nevertheless by the end of next season I expect Dinos to have the highest TransferMarkt market value among all our right footed defenders.

  10. RC78 says:

    pbarany – while Mavro is statistically good, his value won’t be higher than Saliba. Saliba’s value will be at least 30 Mln this summer and could raise to 50 if he has a good end of the season…Mavro’s value will never be more than 20 no matter how good he is…

    As for Mari, he is too old to be Gab’s understudy but I do agree with you that we would ideally have a left-footed CB..and the name of Pau Torres comes to mind but he is hot property and would want a starting position…There is also Kimpembe from PSG but he can be a bit unreliable in big games and would also want to be a starter so…maybe we could go for A. Diallo also from PSG who would be a sound back up option. He is quite pacey, strong in duels and not too bad in the air – a good back up option to be honest…

  11. RC78 says:

    I will do a post-match tonight, no time for the pre-match. Sorry.

  12. fred1266 says:

    Not sure this is the place for it but can someone tell me why Abrahamovic was sanctioned is just because he Russian or some other reason

  13. LB says:


    The thing that we are being told is that Abramovic owns steel companies that are supplying the Russian government who are using it to build tanks. Make of that what you will.

    This is worth reading.

  14. pbarany says:

    RC78 we agree on the Saliba part. He is young, he was sold for around 30M (if we sell him again this summer it would also be around 30M), so that’s his reasonable price until he shows something extraordinary.

    These values have a strong correlation with their purchase price. Since Maguire was sold for almost 80M even after a few poor seasons he remains around 40M. But slowly they end up around their fair value eventually – see Pepe’s decline to 27M.

    Nevertheless I doubt that Mavro has a price ceiling of 20M. In fact I’m willing to bet that he will exceed 30M by September 2023. We can make it an “I told you so” type of pseudo-bet, but I’ve always fancied an Emirates Stadium 3D Puzzle, and that 20 quids won’t bankrupt me if you win.
    Any other stake alternative? 🙂

  15. fred1266 says:

    Partey with goal finally

  16. fred1266 says:

    Or LB thanks

  17. LB says:

    Partey MOM

  18. LB says:

    If we had lost yesterday there would have been a sea of comments, quite sad really. We are entering a golden age at Arsenal and so few people seem to want to be involved. I look at all those names on the top right hand side and wonder why so few don’t want to simply share — Good Win Yesterday, how long does that take?

  19. pbarany says:

    Well, I’m quite a newbie here, LB, without much added to the tradition or history, but – unless ads are paid by the number of comments – I would have quality over quantity and prefer a question or challenge to discuss than just stating the fact. And a good win yesterday is a fact indeed, but a joyful one.

  20. LB says:

    Top comment pb, a joyful win indeed.

  21. Atid says:

    Without a doubt for me it is Ballard.

  22. Mike M says:

    LB, how right you are !!! Great result and performance, Well done boys !!! Maybe we’re all a little scared of commenting too much in case we jinx us??!!! For the record I have to say the commitment and attitude of this small squad, No Ozil, Aubameyang, Bellerin, Leno, Willian although strangely enough still Xhaka makes this a group of peers that are all willing to work for the same goals and each other. So I’ll say it: beginning on Wednesday, we are most likely to blow the position we’re currently in and end the season in disappointment. It’s what we’re used to as fans now, almost expected. Yet there seems to me to be a little more substance to this team. Will we finish 4th? We should. I calculate that we could lose 4 of our last 12, draw with Spuds and Utd and make it comfortably. I don’t expect, just hope. And I’m ok talking about it. Maybe others aren’t !!

  23. Mike M says:

    LB by the way, I didn’t know Usmanov was sanctioned. That’s good to know.

  24. Martin Wengrow. says:

    Imo Saliba is grossly overrated.
    He is unlikely to play a single game for Arsenal.

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