Mathieu Debuchy has told Telefoot La Chaine that William Saliba would be welcome back at St Etienne amid recent reports linking the Arsenal youngster with a January move.
Saliba’s spell at the Emirates has not gone to plan thus far. After some bright showings in pre-season, fans may have expected the 19-year-old to enjoy a prominent role in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Unfortunately, the centre-back is still awaiting the chance to make his competitive debut. He was not even named in the Gunners’ squad for the Europa League group-stages.
That has seemingly opened the door for speculation concerning a potential January move. And according to Foot-Sur7, Saliba is so keen to return to his former club on loan that he is prepared to take a pay-cut.
And when asked about the links, Debuchy suggested that he would like him to come back.
“William, we know his qualities,” he told Telefoot La Chaine. “He was very impressive at St Etienne. Unfortunately for him at Arsenal the start didn’t go the way he wanted it to be I think.
“Yes, why not, he will be welcome and will have the advantage of knowing the club.”
TBR View: Saliba needs loan move with defenders returning to fitness
Right now, a loan move looks to make a lot of sense for Saliba. Arsenal had a number of centre-back options out injured in the early stages of the season.
And now they are all starting to return, it looks even more unlikely that he will get a chance anytime soon.
As Debuchy notes, Saliba – who cost £27 million, according to Sky Sports – knows Les Verts well. So a return could help the teenager restore his confidence after a tough spell.