Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he is frustrated with how things have played out with centre-back William Saliba, who is still waiting to make his debut for the club.
The Gunners struck a £27m deal to bring Saliba to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2019, and after he spent a year on loan with Saint-Etienne, it was expected that he would be a core part of Arteta’s starting lineup, but he’s yet to even make a matchday squad in the Premier League.
Saliba was also omitted from the 25-man Europa League squad, while rumours of a summer loan move failed to turn into reality, and it has left the talented 19-year-old in a sort of purgatory.
“I’m fed up with the situation because, as you could see, we tried to find a way in the last few days to give him some football,” Arteta said (via Sky Sports News).
“I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint-Etienne. For many reasons, that didn’t happen – he didn’t have that transition year and he needs to go through that.
“At the moment, with the amount of central defenders we have in the team, we had to leave him out of the squad, which is painful. Now we have some injuries and we could have used him but this is part of the profession.”
The boss went on to discuss what the future holds for Saliba, admitting that it will soon be time to discuss whether a January loan move would be in everyone’s best interests.
“We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club but we could not,” he added.
“We will review the situation in the next few weeks and sit down with him and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.”
Fortunately for Arsenal, they are expected to welcome David Luiz back to the squad for Thursday’s meeting with Molde, but Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari remain injured and Sokratis is not part of the 25-man squad.
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