Arsenal fans were desperate to see one player at the start of this season – William Saliba. He joined us for £27 million (Goal) at the start of last season, but was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne.
The Frenchman struggled with injuries last term but was brilliant whenever he played. Arsenal decided against extending his loan until the end of last season which forced Saint-Etienne to play their French Cup final without him.
That convinced Arsenal fans that the young French defender was in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the season. But, that hasn’t quite been the case. Saliba is yet to play a senior competitive game for the club, and that has annoyed a number of fans.
Arsenal agreed to let him return to Saint-Etienne at the end of the summer window. The French outfit were ready to take him back as well, but the details could not be sorted out before transfer deadline day.
That forced Saliba to stay at Arsenal but, sadly, he was omitted from the Europa League squad – the only competition he had a realistic chance of playing in this season.
He has been limited to action with the under-23’s and an unfortunate red card recently didn’t do his reputation any favours. The Gunners are likely to sanction a loan deal in January, but Saliba doesn’t want to go back to France.
Saliba wants to stay in England
The Athletic claim that the defender wants to join an English club for the second half of the season. He feels that staying in the UK will help him adjust to the physicality of the Premier League, and that will increase his chances of getting into Arteta’s side next season.
It is unclear if there are clubs in the Premier League interested in his services. Arsenal wouldn’t mind sending him down to the Championship either as long the club that signs him guarantees game time.
The positive update coming out of the report is that Arsenal will not entertain any offers to sell him permanently. Arteta and co truly believe he will live up to the hype and that he will be ready to feature for the senior side next season.