Arsenal are in talks with Championship clubs over a loan for William Saliba this window, with Watford joining Brentford on the list.

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)

ESPN claim Watford are among the possible destinations for William Saliba this window, as well as fellow Championship club Brentford.

Goal previously reported that Arsenal are in talks over loaning Saliba to the Championship, planning further conversations with the likes of Brentford in the coming days. The Gunners left the centre-back out of their Europa League squad this week.

After failing to move William Saliba on loan to Saint-Etienne on deadline day, Arsenal moved onto other options. The domestic window is still open for lower leagues, so that’s the primary one.

The Press Association (via BT) report that Arsenal are ‘strongly considering’ a loan to a lower league. The Mirror add that Saliba may move to the Championship, and Brentford are ‘one option’.

Irish Daily Mirror - 7th October 2020
Irish Daily Mirror – 7th October 2020

There are obvious benefits to Saliba picking a London club, allowing him to remain close by. He’d surely get regular football in the Championship, which might help him to overcome his recent injury problems.

I think a fair portion of Arsenal fans will still be confused as to why Saliba needs a loan at all. It’s not like the current defenders have shown much consistency, and the Frenchman hasn’t even had a chance yet.

In fairness, Mikel Arteta sees Saliba on the training pitches much more often than we do. So it’s not as if he’s making the call based on nothing.

But we all know how players can surprise you when they step out in a competitive fixture. We see it all the time with young players who weren’t in contention until a surprisingly impressive debut earns them a run in the team. Saliba isn’t getting that opportunity.

So I’d have mixed feelings about Arsenal sending the centre-back on loan to a lower tier. Unfortunately, with Saint-Etienne off and Saliba ineligible for the Europa League group stage, we don’t have much choice.