William Saliba makes decision over his preferred destination for January move

Arsenal defender William Saliba is reportedly keen for a loan spell to a team in the United Kingdom rather than returning to France in January.

Big things were expected of the 19-year-old centre-back when he made the move from Saint-Etienne to the Gunners over the summer.

But he has yet to play a minute of first-team football and manager Mikel Arteta clearly does not yet think he is ready after leaving him out of his Premier League and Europa League squads.

Saliba was expected to make a loan move before the close of the summer transfer window, but in the end nothing materialised.

William Saliba has been limited to Under-21 appearances for Arsenal

However, according to The Athletic he will almost certainly be granted one in January instead.

And they claim Saliba wants to aid his adaptation to English football by staying in the country rather than going on a mooted second spell at Saint-Etienne.

A team in the Championship appear most likely, and Brentford and Watford were among those suggested as possibilities over the summer.

Arteta recently offered hope that Saliba will one day live up to his potential at Arsenal by claiming he has improved considerably in recent weeks.

“Whenever we have the spaces and we believe that he’s ready to play with us,” the Spaniard said.

“To be fair, he’s made massive improvements in the last few months and it’s been a really tricky situation for him.

Saliba would prefer a loan move in the UK than a return to France

“As I mentioned before, we designed a pathway for him and there were a lot of things that happened to him in his personal life and professionally as well.

“Now we’ve made some steps forwards, he’s working really hard and played for the under-21s again.”

On what may happen in January, he added: “It’s something that we are discussing at the moment, what’s the best thing for us to do.

“It will be decided soon.”

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