Mikel Arteta ‘fed up’ with William Saliba’s situation at Arsenal and is open to loan deal

Mikel Arteta says it is painful to see William Saliba struggle for a place at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta says it is ‘painful’ to see William Saliba struggle for a place at Arsenal (Getty/Arsenal)

Mikel Arteta claims he is ‘fed up’ with William Saliba’s situation at Arsenal following reports that the defender is keen to leave the club in January.

The 19-year-old, who was signed in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne, is yet to make his debut for Arsenal and has only featured for the club’s Under-23s so far this season.

Saliba’s chances of a regular role at Arsenal have also been reduced after Arteta left him out of his Europa League squad.

Reports in France this week have claimed that Saliba is unhappy with his lack of playing time at Arsenal and is now seeking a return to Saint-Etienne on loan in the next transfer window.

And Arteta admits Saliba needs to go through a ‘transition’ before he can compete for a regular role at Arsenal.

‘I’m 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,’ said Arteta.

William Saliba has only featured for Arsenal's Under-23s this season
William Saliba has only featured for Arsenal’s Under-23s this season (Getty Images)

‘I explained that he needed that transition here 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 here and he needs to go through that.

‘And at the moment with the amount of central defenders we have in the team we have to leave him out of the squad which is painful because we’ve had some injuries and we could’ve used him but it’s part of this profession.’

Asked if Saliba will be allowed to leave Arsenal on loan in January, Arteta replied: ‘Well, I don’t know. We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club and we had him.

‘But at the end of the day we could not make it and we will review the situation in the next few weeks and sit down with him as well and see what is the best thing to do.

‘But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.’

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