Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will review William Saliba’s situation ahead of a potential loan move away from the club in January.
As we enter our third month of the season, William Saliba is still waiting on his competitive Arsenal debut.
After featuring in pre-season, the centre-back made a couple of the early squads in the Community Shield and League Cup. But he never appeared on the pitch, and stopped getting squad call-ups completely over the last month.
The defender isn’t in the Arsenal Europa League squad and Arteta admits the club tried to loan him out in the latter stages of the transfer window. But at this stage, he doesn’t know if they’ll loan the French 19-year-old in January.
“Well, I don’t know,” Arteta admitted. “We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club and we had him, but at the end of the day we could not make it.
“We will review the situation in the next few weeks and sit down with him as well and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.”
Arteta also again reiterated his regrets at the way things played out with Saliba over the last month or so.
He suggested that Arsenal could have used the player in recent Europa League matches, but when they picked the squad they didn’t know how many injuries and injury setbacks they’d have soon afterwards.
“At the moment, with the amount of central defenders that we have in the team, we had to let him out of the squad which is painful,” Arteta added. “After that, we had some injuries and we could have used him but it’s part of this profession.”
For now, Saliba will probably continue to play with the Arsenal u23s. He’s already made starts against Brighton, Manchester United, and Liverpool, and there’s a good chance he’ll play against Blackburn Rovers on Friday.