Photo: Mikel Arteta calls up 18-year-old defender to Arsenal training after Saliba injury blow
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has called up Reuell Walters to first-team training ahead of the game against Crystal Palace after terrible news about William Saliba’s injury emerged.
The Frenchman hobbled off the pitch with a back problem during the Gunners’ defeat to Sporting Lisbon on Thursday. Everyone hoped it wouldn’t be anything serious, but it looks like he’ll be out for a while.
Young Walters could make the squad tomorrow as an emergency backup.
Mikel Arteta calls up Reuell Walters to Arsenal training after William Saliba injury blow
French outlet RMC – as quoted by Get French Football News – claimed a few hours ago that Saliba’s back injury will force him to withdraw from the France squad.
Now, L’Équipe report that Saliba will be ‘out for several weeks’ because of the issue, which definitely rules him out of the game against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
That is a massive blow for Arsenal. Saliba has been one of their best players since the start of this season, and they don’t really have anyone of his level to come into the side and take his place.
Rob Holding is the likeliest to start in place of Saliba tomorrow, but Arteta could name a teenager on the bench to offer cover – not just at centre-half, but also at right-back as Takehiro Tomiyasu is injured as well.
That young player could be Walters, who can play anywhere across the backline. He was called up to senior training today at London Colney ahead of the game against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
Walters can be seen standing in between Gabriel Martinelli and Fabio Vieira in the picture below.
Who is Reuell Walters?
Walters is an 18-year-old defender who joined Arsenal back in 2020. He was previously at Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy.
The teenager, branded as a ‘tremendous‘ talent, is naturally a right-back, but he can play as a central defender and also at left-back if necessary. He is one of Arsenal’s brightest young talents, and he caught Arteta’s eye before the start of this season.
Walters was the Gunners’ only non-first-team squad player to be called up to Arsenal’s pre-season tour. He started the game against Nurnberg in Germany and his performance there as a 17-year-old was really impressive.
Now, Walters could be in the squad to take on Crystal Palace tomorrow, and he could well make his Arsenal debut if Arteta really needs him at some point in the game.
You may also like…
- Report: Arsenal ready to bid for 25-year-old – and offer Balogun in swap
- Tim Sherwood can’t praise Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard enough
- Reports from France hint at devastating William Saliba news for Arsenal
- ‘He’s an Arsenal player’: Jermain Defoe says ‘clever’ winger looks so perfect for Mikel Arteta’s side