Arsenal signed William Saliba in 2019 from Saint-Ettiene and then agreed to loan him back to the French club for a season.
Arsenal fans were excited by the prospect of a partnership between Saliba and fellow new defender Gabriel Magalhaes however, the 19 year old is yet to feature in any game for Arsenal and has been left out of the Europa League squad.
According to reports, Saliba was set for another loan spell in France in a bid to get game time and experience but the deal fell through on the last day.
Reports continued to link him with an exit on loan to a championship club. However, Arteta and Arsenal have had a change of heart and will keep hold of the youngster at least for now.
But why hasn’t he played at least a single minute for Arsenal?
Injuries and the early end of the French domestic season saw Saliba’s progress affected and Arteta has since judged him to be unready for first team football.
Off the pitch Saliba lost a close relative believed to be his mother which affected him psychologically at his young age.
Arteta has been watching Saliba keenly in training and according to ESPN, believes he needs to improve his defending at set-pieces and resist the temptation to go to ground if he is to make the step up and ultimately become a regular in his Premier League starting XI.
Saliba will likely continue to play for the U23’s given Arsenal’s plethora of central defenders.
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