William Saliba wants France return but Arsenal staff favour Championship loan

William Saliba is yet to make his first-team debut for Arsenal
William Saliba is yet to make his first-team debut for Arsenal (Getty)

William Saliba is keen to return to France on loan but members of Arsenal’s coaching staff would prefer the 19-year-old to join a Championship club instead, according to reports.

Saliba was signed in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne last year but after moving to the Gunners in the summer the young defender is still yet to make his debut under Mikel Arteta.

The Arsenal manager said last month that Saliba still needs to go through a ‘transition’ period before he is ready to make his first-team debut.

Saliba is now keen to leave Arsenal on loan in the January transfer window in order to get more playing time.

But according to ESPN, while Saliba’s preference is to return to Ligue 1, some members of Arsenal’s backroom staff believe the defender would be ‘better suited’ to staying in England as they feel he would make more progress with a club in the Championship.

Brentford and Watford have already registered their interest in signing Saliba next month.

Mikel Arteta says William Saliba needs to go through a 'transition' before making his Arsenal debut
Mikel Arteta says William Saliba needs to go through a ‘transition’ before making his Arsenal debut (Getty)

But Saliba’s former club, Saint-Etienne, are also keen on bringing the 19-year-old back to Ligue 1 after missing out on the chance to re-sign him on loan in the summer.

Nice, who sacked Patrick Vieira as their manager on Friday, are also weighing up a move for Saliba ahead of the window.

In an inteview last week, Saint-Etienne captain and former Arsenal defender, Mathieu Debuchy, claimed Saliba would be ‘welcome’ back at the French club.

‘William… we know his qualities. He was very impressive at Saint-Etienne,’ said Debuchy.

‘Unfortunately for him at Arsenal the start didn’t go the way he wanted it to, I think.

‘If William wants to come back this winter he will be welcome and he will have the advantage of knowing the team.’

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