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Highly rated defender set to return from loan spell earlier than expected

Arsenal completed the signing of William Saliba in the summer transfer window but was loaned back to Saint-Etienne but he is however going to come back.

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( Arsenal defender William Saliba / Photo via Getty )

Arsenal signed William Saliba from Saint-Ettiene back in 2019 for £27m but agreed he remains at the club for the 2019/2020 campaign.

Saliba who just turned 19 in March was limited to just 12 Ligue 1 appearances due to an injury he picked up towards the middle of the season.

Saliba was initially supposed to return to Arsenal on 1 July which is the day after his loan deal expires, however it has been confirmed that the top two divisions in France will not be completed this season, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Tuesday that all remaining fixtures will not be allowed to take place before August.

With football being suspended across France, players on loan at Ligue 1 clubs will return earlier than expected to their parent clubs.

 

Saliba controls the ball during a Ligue 1 match.

Saliba is rated as one of Europe’s promising players and he is seen by Arsenal fans and faithfuls as their own saviour in a problematic position his early return will surely excite the fans.

Arsenal are currently awaiting the resumption of the Premier League season, with all professional football in England suspended since the middle of March.

There is no exact date on when it will return as the country continues to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, but reports have suggested the top flight is targeting a June return, with games to be played behind closed doors.

Saliba is currently registered in Arsenal’s 49-man Premier League squad for this campaign, but it is unclear if the defender would come straight into the first team if the current season resumes.

It is more likely that the centre-back returns to train with his new teammates at London Colney, before making his debut next season as originally planned.

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