What are Arsenal doing with William Saliba?
Having made a fuss about the teenager returning from his Saint-Etienne loan spell in July – a decision that cost him a game in the Coupe de France final – we went on to decide he might be better off playing his football elsewhere this season. At Saint-Etienne.
Not only did we fail to sort his loan move in time, we then, just to rub salt in the lad’s wounds, left him out of our Europa League squad.
With the window to do business with Championship clubs open until tomorrow, speculation soon mounted that we might lend our £27 million signing to a club in England’s second tier. Brentford were said to be sniffing around.
According to Mikel Arteta, that will not happen. Facing the press ahead of Saturday’s game with Manchester City, the boss was asked if any more players would be going on loan. His answer was simple, “Not at the moment.”
Asked specifically whether Salba would be staying, he replied: “Yes.”
With Pablo Mari and Shkodran Mustafi returning from injury to take Arteta’s centre-back options to seven players, and with no League Cup football until December – and that’s another clash with City – it seems as though Saliba may have to settle for under-23 football before going on loan in January.
It’s all very odd.