William Saliba will make his first start for Saint-Etienne after injury on Tuesday night, after returning to the squad over the weekend.

Bordeaux's French forward Jimmy Briand (C) vies with Saint-Etienne's French defender William Saliba (L) and Saint-Etienne's French defender Wesley Fofana (R) during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne (ASSE) on October 20, 2019, at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP / Getty Images)
Bordeaux’s French forward Jimmy Briand (C) vies with Saint-Etienne’s French defender William Saliba (L) and Saint-Etienne’s French defender Wesley Fofana (R) during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne (ASSE) on October 20, 2019, at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP / Getty Images)

William Saliba is back in contention for a start at last, after overcoming a metatarsal fracture in the last few months. L’Equipe claim he’ll start this evening against AS Monaco in the French Cup round-of-16.

Saliba made the squad against Nimes Olympique over the weekend, as Saint-Etienne won 2-1. However, he didn’t get onto the pitch, as his club slowly ease him back in.

Their schedule is busy right now, with that game at the weekend and another four between now and next Sunday. There’s no need to rush Saliba for any particular game, as there are plenty more to get him up to speed.

It’s possible Arsenal are encouraging the loan club to take things slowly this time. When Saliba returned from his previous injury in September, he played 541 consecutive minutes for the club before picking up his latest setback.

Arsenal also ran tests on the 18-year-old a couple of weeks ago, reportedly giving him a pretty rigorous examination over a couple of days.

The good news is they clearly cleared him for a return. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be in the squad at all. The hope is that Saliba can now stay fit for the remainder of the season.

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