Saliba spotted with the Arsenal first team squad and could be in line for inclusion for Leicester City match


Patiently waiting

The story of William Saliba at Arsenal has ranged from raging St Etienne manager Claude Puel failing with a Deadline Day loan bid to Mikel Arteta desperate to ensure the 19-year old gets the pivotal development year he needs.

Having not played a single minute of senior competitive football for the Gunners, Saliba has featured for the side’s under-23 team on a couple occasions. Arteta has always been keen to reiterate the need to manage the Frenchman’s situation carefully.

“He had a year last year where Arsenal loaned him to St Etienne and that was a transition year for him,” Mikel Arteta said.

“For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal injuries and also with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year.

Yet, Saliba has featured heavily for Arsenal in their marketing campaigns. For the launch of the white away kit, he was pictured in a computer generated portrait. And in the latest Adidas link-up with Pharrell Williams human race alternative kit launch Saliba was again in the marketing speaking to Ian Wright,


Arsenal fans have been tentatively waiting for Saliba to get minutes with the first team and that could occur this weekend. Not included in the Arsenal under-23 squad who faced Manchester City, Saliba was pictured training with the first team squad ahead of Leicester’s arrival on Sunday.

Arsenal’s defensive situation has improved in recent days with the return of Shkodran Mustafi from injury and Pablo Mari being just 10 days away from full training. However, the £27 million price tag on Saliba suggests Arsenal will want to integrate the Frenchman sooner rather than later.

Having now been spotted training with the first team, Saliba could indeed be on the bench for Sunday’s match.

Arsenal play Leicester City at 7:15pm Sunday 25th October.

See also: Saliba set to stay with Arsenal until at least January / What’s the potential impact?

Saint-Etienne blame Arsenal for William Saliba not returning on loan

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# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 5 7 13
2 Aston Villa FC 5 7 12
3 Leeds United 6 3 10
4 Liverpool FC 5 0 10
5 Crystal Palace FC 6 -1 10
6 Leicester City FC 5 4 9
7 Arsenal FC 5 2 9
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 5 -2 9
9 Tottenham Hotspur FC 5 7 8
10 Chelsea FC 5 4 8
11 West Ham United FC 6 4 8
12 Manchester City FC 5 0 8
13 Southampton FC 5 -1 7
14 Newcastle United FC 5 -2 7
15 Manchester United FC 4 -3 6
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 5 -2 4
17 West Bromwich Albion 5 -8 2
18 Burnley FC 4 -5 1
19 Sheffield United FC 5 -5 1
20 Fulham FC 6 -9 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 6
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Antonio, Michail West Ham United FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3