Arsenal’s plans to allow William Saliba to return to Saint-Etienne on a short-term loan deal to enable him to feature in the Coupe de France final hit an impasse as negotiations between the clubs broke down
However, Mikel Arteta has provided an update on the situation which seems to suggest that talks have re-opened.
Despite the Gunners releasing a statement at the start of July saying that Saliba will not return for the match, Arteta has since said (via talkSPORT): “The clubs are dealing with the situation. You know what happened in the last few days, I prefer to stay away from that.
“Hopefully they find a good agreement on the situation in good terms that helps the player as well. Yes [it is still being discussed].”
Saliba has had a good season, helping Saint-Etienne to reach the cup final and averaging 1.5 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game whilst also managing 2.5 clearances per game, per WhoScored.
Playing in a major cup final should be good experience for the 19-year-old and, if Les Verts were to upset the Ligue 1 champions and win it, that would represent a tremendous personal achievement for the player.
Arsenal will likely sanction the loan seeing as Saliba would be released for just one game and, judging by his performance figures this season, he seems to be a promising player for the future for the Gunners. Therefore, allowing him further game-time in France prior to next season seems like a no-brainer.
A stat from Opta, via AFTV Media, highlights the quality he has at the centre of defence as he is the only outfield player in Europe to have played more than 900 minutes without committing a single foul from his attempted tackles.
Should Saliba start for Arsenal next term?
Hopefully the two teams can come to an agreement and Saliba can round off his time at Saint-Etienne with a Coupe de France winner’s medal.
Gunners fans, would you be happy for Saliba to go back on a short-term loan to Saint-Etienne? Let us know your thoughts below!
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