Arsenal youngster stuck at club after bizarre transfer decision

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William Saliba faces an intriguing season.

The Arsenal defender spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne and enjoyed some success in Ligue 1.

He made 17 appearances in all competitions in a season that was ultimately disrupted by injuries but now he is back with the Gunners for the 2020/21 season.

However, he is yet to play a part in any of the club’s league games this season, not being included in the squad for clashes with Fulham, West Ham United, Liverpool, and Sheffield United.

He did play the full 90 minutes in the Premier League 2 clash with Brighton & Hove Albion’s U23s, captaining Arsenal’s youngsters.

He was on the bench in the EFL Cup game against Leicester City, but it does not appear that he is going to play a major role in manager Mikel Arteta’s plans in 2020/21.

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It makes it all the more surprising, then, that they did not allow him to leave on loan in the summer transfer window.

Claude Puel, the St Etienne manager, says that the club attempted to bring the defender back to the club after selling Wesley Fofana to Leicester City but they were left disappointed by Arsenal’s attitude.

Speaking to L’Equipe, as quoted by Sport Witness, he said: “We tried. He had a great desire to return. The club is a bit like his family and friends. His adaptation would have been immediate. It would have been done if all the conditions had been met.

“It needed to remain coherent for our finances and his contract, in terms of gestation, mostly. Now, and for the future, we don’t allow any meddling”.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is a bit odd from Arsenal.

Saliba is a promising prospect and he needs regular football if he is to reach his potential but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to get it in north London.

A return to the club where he played regularly last season, when he was fit, would have made all the sense in the world.

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Instead, it appears that he will be sitting on the bench, or even watching Arsenal play on his television, for the foreseeable future.

What a bizarre turn of events.

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