According to the Evening Standard, William Saliba is still in the process of improving his grasp of English football, which is helping him to gain a better understanding of how the Arsenal boss wants his team to play.
The 19-year-old joined The Gunners in 2019 for a fee of £27milllion, but was loaned straight back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019/20 season. It wasn’t until July that he made the permanent move to North London.
William Saliba's Instagram video after signing for Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/RKNlDfisJk— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) July 25, 2019
What is the situation?
Saliba was keen to make a quick start to life in England and began training on his own in an attempt to impress his new coaches. Despite his best efforts, the teenager is yet to make his debut for Arsenal.
The Frenchman’s frustrations have reportedly been growing in recent weeks over a lack of game time.
Saliba was also left out of Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League squad, with the team’s current injury list it looks like they need him after all. The Arsenal manager has been reluctant to include the young defender over transition fears.
“I am fed up with the situation because as you could see we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football,” Arteta told the Evening Standard.
“I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint Etienne, for many reasons that didn’t happen, he didn’t have that transition year and he needs to go through that.”
It seems as though a loan move is the most likely result for Saliba. The January transfer window will provide him with a move to a smaller club where he will be able to have the transition period he needs to get used to English football.
A win win scenario for both parties as Saliba gets the game time he wants whilst developing his experience and talent and Arsenal will have a young central defender ready to slot into their new look back line.
However, The Gunner’s boss is still uncertain over the player’s future:
“I don’t know [if he will definitely go on loan in January], we certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club and we had it, but at the end of the day we could not make it.
“We will review his situation in the next few weeks, sit down with him as well and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situation as well.”