Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arteta: Saliba has not improved at all this week

Arsenal’s hopes of involving William Saliba in the final games of the season have suffered another blow with Mikel Arteta revealing the player hasn’t improved at all this week.

The France international has been sidelined with a back problem since mid-March and his absence has been keenly felt in recent weeks with the Gunners failing to keep a clean sheet in 7 matches.

“Pretty similar,” remarked the boss when asked for a fitness update on the centre-back.

“He’s not going to be involved tomorrow [against Chelsea]. We have to work towards the next game and see where we are but he hasn’t improved this week at all.”

Pressed on how much impact Saliba’s injury has had on Arsenal’s season, he continued: “I don’t know. He’s a very important player but I don’t know how to quantify it.

“I don’t know how to quantify Gabriel Jesus out for four months, Eddie Nketiah for three months, Emile Smith Rowe for four and a half months, Kieran Tierney out for a few weeks, Tomiyasu out for three and a half months and now maybe six months. This is football.”

Aside from other long-term absentees Mo Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal should have a full squad to choose from for the visit of Frank Lampard’s side. That said, Arteta wouldn’t confirm anything when he faced the media in his pre-game press conference.

“I can tell you that after the training session, we still have a session.”

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Damn, such a shame. Need some kind of change as everyone is exploiting the lack of Saliba. Can someone who knows him pass on this study, it’s groundbreaking and building on the amazing work of the late Dr. Sarno:

Eric Blair

This seems bad, spinal transplant incoming?

I know people scoff at these things, but perhaps there is a psychological aspect to it. If I remember correctly he had a family trauma recently. Stress can do strange things to the body.

Whatever it is it’s not normal to have such a sustained back injury for a young person, it’s not good for him or the team. I hope a good plan can be put together so he’s back ready for next season. Get well soon Willi.


I do find it strange that someone so young could be suffering with such a persistent back problem. I wonder if it is a screen for something more personal and the club are just protecting him.
Players have personal problems (assuming it is of course personal problems) – it is not Saliba’s fault that the club had inadequate back up for him.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If you play football you can get injured and you can’t pick where on your body.

Eric Blair

But this wasn’t a bad injury like a broken bone that ruled him out for the next 6 to 9 months, it has been constantly week to week waiting to see if there’s any improvement and he can come back to the side.

I admit it’s pure speculation on my part, but given the lack of desire to dwell on actual football results at the moment it’s all I’ve got.


These things can take 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months.

Hopefully it’s a one-time deal and not the beginning of something chronic that’ll mean the end of a generational talent.


At this stage, maybe its better to stop trying to manage the situation with regards to injury and take the surgical option (if it exists). Atleast Saliba will have a full pre-season and be ready for the next year.


Doubt we’ll see big Willie again this season. One thing we can do is give him a pen and get him to sign the dotted line.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

His importance is clear in his absence. I wouldn’t mind being his agent


So operate the guy asap and get gin ready for the beginning of next season!


Anyone else think we need to change it up a bit at the back?
Maybe move White inside and stick Tierney right back? Try Kiwior?

I miss santi cazorla

Hope he hasn’t played his last game for us.

A Different George

I am amazed at how many Arsenal supporters apparently have medical training. I have no idea what is wrong with Saliba’s back, but I am grateful for the many suggestions on how he and the club should proceed. About football: his absence only reinforces what was apparent all season. He is already an exceptional defender and likely to become even better with more experience. His presence (with Gabriel) allows Arsenal to play in ways that are impossible without him–the way we play out, the risks we can take with Zinchenko’s positioning, the way his pace and understanding give the midfield… Read more »

Eric Blair

I think the speculation is largely due to him being constantly on the brink of a return, never to quite make it. If he had a broken bone and was ruled out for 9 months then nobody would even bother to discuss it bar wishing him well and what replacement we’d buy in the summer.


Do we not think it may be a bluff? I’m sure Arteta has a good idea on the length of injury, unlike most the people on here, he will have the knowledge of done highly qualified doctors (Arteta reads Arseblog comments “why didn’t we consider surgery?!”


We all knew that when saliba went down he’d be out the season. I bet he has surgeryin June or goes all summer trying to heal by can’t so he has surgery in August and misses the first 2 months of the season. After last season’s collapse when Ben white went down and Holding came in, I thought arsenal learned its lesson. I have no faith they will learn their lesson this season and I’m sure Holding will sign another new contract. For the life of me I can’t understand why white doesn’t partner with Gabrielle and put KT and… Read more »

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