The Daily Mirror have claimed that Arsenal could be about to recall William Saliba from his season-long loan at St. Etienne in France, with Mikel Arteta lacking in options at the centre of his defence.
Arsenal signed the 18-year-old from Les Verts in the summer, but have loaned him back to the Ligue 1 club for the 2019-20 campaign in order to further his development. However, it has hardly gone to plan for the France Under-20 international.
The £27million (Goal) signing has clocked up just seven appearances for St. Etienne this season. Indeed, a hamstring injury prevented him from playing until September 29, before suffering a broken foot which has limited him to a handful of games.
Calum Chambers, meanwhile, has suffered a knee injury. It leaves Arsenal with just David Luiz, Rob Holding, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi, but all of Arsenal’s centre-backs have been heavily criticised.
With January approaching, Arteta is said to be considering the option to recall Saliba from St. Etienne early.
TBR’s view – Saliba could be the gem that Arsenal fans desire
Arsenal have needed a proper centre-back for years and Saliba hardly seems like the man who can sort out the issues at the back right away. But, he might just show signs of becoming that player at this early stage in his career.
Arteta should at least bring him back in January to have a look at him. If he feels he needs regular game time, he can be sent back to St. Etienne. But if he is worth keeping and using, Arteta could look to keep Saliba at Arsenal.