Ex-Arsenal striker reveals what he’s heard about William Saliba under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal: Arteta provides update on William Saliba

Arsenal defender William Saliba has made “great strides” in training under Mikel Arteta, and looks ready to play in the Europa League and FA Cup rather than depart on loan in January. That’s according to former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell.

Saliba hasn’t played for Arsenal yet this season.

The French centre-back was withdrawn from the Europa League squad after returning from his loan spell at St-Etienne.

Having been signed last summer from the Ligue 1 side, he was immediately loaned back and looked impressive before the season was halted early due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

When he returned to north London, however, he was reportedly unfit to play in the first team and was therefore left in the youth sides.

As a result, he is still yet to play for the first team, leaving the player himself disgruntled.

He commented on an Instagram post by loaned-out Arsenal player Matteo Guendouzi and joked he is “locked up” at the club.

But Campbell believes he still has a future at the club, and thinks he could end up taking Shkodran Mustafi’s place in the side after January.

Speaking to Football Insider, the club hero explained that it wouldn’t make much sense for Saliba to leave on loan in January, as it has been reported.

Campbell said: “Apparently Saliba has made great strides in training.

“Mustafi is going to leave at the end of the season, that is a done deal from both sides, and Saliba needs minutes, so why not give him the minutes that Mustafi is getting?

“To me it makes no sense.

“I like to think Arteta would use Saliba in the Europa League and FA Cup games we have coming up rather than sending him out on loan.”

Arsenal technical director Edu recently discussed the 19-year-old’s development and said he will be speaking with Arteta over his future.

The Gunners manager recently said there’s a chance that Saliba will depart the club in the January transfer window, but Edu appeared to disagree.

“Maybe he needs a little more time,” he said.

“He’s a bright talent. We need to talk with him and Mikel to plan for next year.”

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