Arsenal: Why are they struggling under Arteta?
Arsenal’s technical director Edu has claimed that William Saliba will be given ‘time’ to impress despite rumours linking the youngster with a loan move away from north London. The 19-year-old joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 for a reported £27 million fee, and spent last season at the French outfit on loan, but has not made a senior appearance for Arsenal following his return.
Saliba has been tipped to rejoin his former club on a temporary basis once again in January amid claims that he is unhappy with his lack of action under Mikel Arteta.
However, Edu has revealed that the club still holds the defender in high regard and assured supporters that he will get his chance in good time.
“Maybe he needs a little more time,” Edu said at a fan forum meeting on Tuesday night, as reported by football.london.
“He’s a bright talent,” he added. “We need to talk with him and Mikel to plan for next year.”
Saliba caused a stir on social media last week when he complained about being ‘locked up’ at Arsenal in a comment, which has since been deleted, on an Instagram post by Matteo Guendouzi.
“I’m sending well wishes to the brother that was locked up like me,” he wrote, referring to Guendouzi’s situation during the back end of last season before he was shipped out on loan to Hertha Berlin during the summer.
Recent reports have suggested that Arteta is not convinced of Saliba’s Premier League capability, with The Sun claiming the Spaniard feels he needs a ‘transition year’ before being considered for selection.
However, the under-fire Arsenal boss praised the defender’s attitude ahead of last week’s Europa League victory over Dundalk, hailing his recent improvement despite the difficult situation he faces at the club.
“Whenever we have the spaces and we believe that he’s ready to play with us,” Arteta replied when asked when Saliba might be given a first-team opportunity.
“To be fair, he’s made massive improvements in the last few months and it’s been a really tricky situation for him.
“As I mentioned before, we designed a pathway for him and there were a lot of things that happened to him in his personal life and professionally as well. Now we’ve made some steps forwards, he’s working really hard and played for the under-21s again.”
Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways against Southampton on Wednesday evening after Sunday’s lacklustre home defeat at the hands of strugglers Burnley.
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