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William Saliba latest: Club and player ‘both open’ to permanent January Arsenal exit

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: William Saliba of Arsenal during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on October 30, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Gunners spell

Saliba’s Arsenal stint has of course proven somewhat bizarre to this point.

The now-19-year-old was purchased from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019, before being immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit, to gain further first-team experience.

The general assumption, in turn, was that Saliba would return to the Emirates this year, ahead of playing a central role in Mikel Arteta’s first-team setup – the Gunners did, after all, splash out a reported £27 million on the youngster.

And Saliba has, as expected, since returned to north London.

However, surprisingly, he is yet to secure any sort of consistent game-time. In fact, the Frenchman has not been afforded a single appearance for Arsenal’s first-team to this point.

Instead, Saliba has been restricted to outings with the club’s youth sides, having surprisingly been completely omitted from Mikel Arteta’s Europa League group stage squad.

William Saliba latest: Club and player ‘both open’ to permanent January Arsenal exit

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 13: William Saliba of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 13, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

‘Open to permanent & loan departure’

Arteta, in turn, has since expressed his regret at Saliba’s European omission, admitting that it ‘hurt’ him to leave the youngster out:

‘I feel really bad for William Saliba. Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.’

If the latest word stemming from the French media this weekend is to be believed, however, then the attempts of his manager to smooth over the situation do not appear to have had much impact in easing Saliba’s disappointment.

This comes amid claims that the stopper is now open to not only a January loan, but also a permanent departure from the Emirates this month.

As per a report from Get French Football News, a meeting between Arsenal and Saliba took place last week.

During the discussions, the teenage talent is said to have made his feelings clear, by confirming that he is ready to move on, without ever having taken to the pitch for the Gunners’ first-team.

Significantly, it is suggested that Arsenal agreed with such a stance, hinting at a hitherto unconfirmed problem behind the scenes in north London.

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 27 39 65
2 Manchester United FC 27 21 51
3 Leicester City FC 27 15 50
4 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
5 Chelsea FC 26 16 44
6 Liverpool FC 26 13 43
7 Everton FC 25 5 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 25 14 39
9 Aston Villa FC 25 11 39
10 Arsenal FC 26 7 37
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 27 -9 34
13 Crystal Palace FC 27 -14 34
14 Southampton FC 26 -13 30
15 Burnley FC 27 -16 29
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
18 Fulham FC 26 -11 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 26 -35 17
20 Sheffield United FC 27 -27 14
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 7