Arsenal will now keep William Saliba at the club for the next few months rather than sending him on loan, according to manager Mikel Arteta.

William Saliba on his friendly debut against MK Dons (Photo via David Price on Twitter)
William Saliba on his friendly debut against MK Dons (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Mikel Arteta confirmed that William Saliba will stay at Arsenal for the next few months.

David Ornstein previously reported for The Athletic that despite links with a loan move, Arsenal were expecting to keep William Saliba until January.

For those not keeping up with the Saliba situation, at the start of the summer we believed he would start integrating into the Arsenal senior squad following his loan to Saint-Etienne last season.

He’s a highly-rated young centre-back, an area of the pitch the club aren’t particularly strong in. But after a couple of pre-season appearances and a start for the u23s, Saliba dropped out of the first-team squad for the competitive matches.

It looked like he’d go on loan to Saint-Etienne, but the deal broke down on deadline day. Arsenal then left the defender out of their Europa League squad, strongly suggesting he’d go on loan to the Championship, but it appears that deal is off too.

Every time we think we know what’s happening next, Arsenal do the opposite. At this stage, we’ll have Saliba for the next few months and he’ll be available to play Premier League games, but not Europa League games.

Whether he actually gets any minutes on the pitch, we don’t know. But frankly, it would be pretty incompetent to fail to loan him to Saint-Etienne, fail to loan him to the Championship, and then fail to play him at all.