William Saliba can’t play for Arsenal this season due to a ‘sporting integrity’ agreement between the Premier League clubs.
The Mirror report that Premier League clubs agreed to prohibit fielding players returning from season-long loan deals to protect the sporting integrity of the remainder of the season as much as possible.
They’re open to reviewing this in ‘exceptional circumstances’, but Arsenal probably aren’t there yet. They still have two senior centre-backs available, a couple of other players who can fill in and two youth centre-backs training with the first team.
If Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi both pull up with serious injuries against Brighton, at that point maybe Arsenal could make a convincing case. But right now, you’d expect the other clubs to respond that they should just give youth players chances.
Saliba is still on loan at the moment anyway. His deal with Saint-Etienne doesn’t end until June 30th. After that, he’s free to come and train with his new club, but he can’t play. The same goes for Konstantinos Mavropanos, whose season will end this month.