Arsenal ‘optimistic’ over defender despite ‘no future’ reports
Arsenal don’t want to sell William Saliba and will look to agree a loan deal in January for the centre-back, according to reports.
Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint Etienne in 2019 and was expected to play a key role this season having spent the last back on loan at his former club.
But he is yet to feature under Arteta and has been excluded from Arsenal’s Europa League squad, with reports in November claiming he is ‘fed up’ with the situation.
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And a report in Eurosport over the weekend said that Saliba has been made ‘available for a move as sources indicate that there is no future for him while Arteta is in charge’.
The Athletic claims that ‘circumstances beyond his control’ mean that he is struggling to make an impact on Arteta’s thoughts.
The report explains: ‘A hectic fixture schedule sees Arsenal playing two matches each week and that leaves minimal time for proper training. When the squad are away, Saliba works alongside the other players not included and the under-23s.
‘When the whole group is together, the need to prepare the starting XI for the next fixture often results in the likes of Saliba being utilised as practice opposition.’
Saliba’s prospects of a place in the first team could improve next campaign with the likes of David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos all coming to the end of their contracts.
And now could be the time to take the opportunity to go on loan before coming back and fighting for a place in Arteta’s side next season.
The report adds that ‘Saliba’s preference would be to stay within the UK, which may speed up his adaptation over the final six months of the campaign. Failing that, there are a number of possibilities in France.’
Despite reports that the Gunners are prepared to sell Saliba, The Athletic reckons that Arsenal ‘remain optimistic he will fulfil the potential’ and that there is ‘no indication’ that they would ‘consider selling the 19-year-old.’