Mikel Arteta makes damning William Saliba statement ahead of potential exit

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opted against including William Saliba in his matchday squad against Chelsea.

The centre-back has failed to make any sort of impact since joining the club from St Etienne in 2019.

He was loaned back to France for the season, but his campaign was cut short as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic cancelling the Ligue 1 season.

After returning this summer, he’s again failed to get any meaningful minutes, and hasn’t featured for the first team despite making the bench in the Carabao Cup.

And he suffered another embarrassing setback on Boxing Day as he was left out of the squad entirely for the game against Chelsea.

Arsenal youngster William Saliba was left out of the team to face Chelsea

Despite having Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz unavailable, Saliba was left out entirely.

Arteta opted instead to name Rob Holding and Pablo Mari at centre-back, with Cedric Soares and Shkodran Mustafi on the bench.

Speaking before the game, he made no reference to Saliba while discussing his defensive selection.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes has apologised to Gunners fans
Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes was unable to face Chelsea

He said: “David (Luiz) and Willian, they were feeling unwell.

“They both tested negative, but following the protocols, we kept them away.

“With Gabriel, he was in touch with someone who tested positive so following the protocols as well, he needs to be out.”

It seems Saliba is destined for a move away in January, either on a loan or permanently.

PSV Eindhoven are reportedly interested, and have apparently already made an opening enquiry to Arsenal about his availability.

Arteta is said to be open to the idea of Saliba departing on loan in order to get some regular minutes under his belt.

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