Arsenal technical director Edu admits they still need to make a decision on William Saliba but insists the player has a big future.
In recent days, David Ornstein reported that William Saliba is thinking about a January loan, after a summer loan to Saint-Etienne fell through and he struggled to get any first-team chances at Arsenal.
The player’s preference is reportedly to stay within the UK, though there are a number of options in France if that doesn’t come off.
On Monday, Edu explained the situation with Saliba so far, claiming the player needs time to overcome a number of difficult circumstances, before admitting they need to make a decision on him in January.
“Saliba, he arrived here after a very challenging year,” Edu said. “He was injured, he didn’t play a lot of games as people really know, he has had some personal issues with his family.
“Then he changed to here but what people expected from him was to be at the top, ready to go, ready to play – but he is still 19 years of age.
“He needs a little bit of time and when you start to see his position on the field there are probably three or four players we see in front of him and will play more games.
“We need to prepare him to play and of course he is training, playing with the Under-23s and now we are facing the situation if he will stay the way he is now or we are going to loan him to get some proper games and then he will come back.
“Let’s see – but of course he has a good future.”
Ornstein’s report suggested Arsenal are showing no indications they want to sell Saliba. They remain optimistic he’ll fulfil the potential that convinced them to sign him in the first place.
For the time being, however, Edu’s comments make it sound like there’s little chance Saliba breaks straight into the first-team at Arsenal. He’ll either stay with the u23s or head out on loan in January.
Mikel Arteta also recently confirmed they’re planning to make a decision on the next steps for Saliba soon.