William Saliba may not play again for Arsenal for the remainder of the season following a major injury amid title hopes.
Arsenal, who are top of the Premier League table, are hoping to have Saliba back in training in time for next Wednesday’s showdown at Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s Head Coach, admitted that; “He is not progressing as quick as we hoped — it’s a bit delicate.”
“There is some improvement but he is not at the level needed to throw him onto the pitch to compete in this league.”
When Arteta was asked if the injury could rule Saliba out of the season, he said: “I don’t know. Probably next week we are going to have more certainty.”
Saliba, who is just 22 years old, has been a defensive rock together with Gabriel as Arsenal chase their first Premier League title in 19 years.
Saliba had started every Premier League game for the Gunners before he was forced off during last month’s Europa League shootout defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
Since then, he has missed the last four matches for Arsenal, including the 2-2 draws against West Ham United and Liverpool where the Gunners blew away their two-goal lead.
Arteta went on to add, “We want to be very certain when we push him that he is ready to absorb the load and the risk we will take — and at the moment it’s not possible to do that.”
William Alain André Gabriel Saliba is a French footballer who was born on 24 March 2001, the Frenchman plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Arsenal and the France national team.
On 25th July 2019, Arsenal announced that Saliba had signed a “long-term” contract with the club on a five-year deal for transfer fee of £27 million.
The Gunners faced competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur to complete the deal, with both clubs meeting Saint-Étienne’s valuation of the player, but Saliba chose to join Arsenal.
He was subsequently loaned to OGC Nice and Marseille in 2021. He returned to Arsenal in 2022.
Saliba was given Arsenal number 12 ahead of the 2022–23 season and he made his Arsenal and Premier League debut on 5 August 2022 in an opening day fixture away to Crystal Palace.
BBC described Saliba as “unruffled and virtually faultless” as Arsenla won the game 2-0 after the defender showed excellence in defence.
Saliba scored his first goal for Arsenal two weeks later in a win over AFC Bournemouth, with a curled shot from the edge of the box, the goal was voted Arsenal goal of the month of August.
William Saliba Stats
Saliba in the Premier League this season has played 27 matches for Arsenal and scored one goal. The defender averages 69 passes per match with a pass completion rate of 91%.
He has recorded four yellow cards as a defender and no red cards for the Frenchman as he has been clinical with his tackles.
Arsenal did not last long in the 2022/23 Europa League but Saliba featured in 4 matches, scoring one goal – he also averaged 73 passes per match with a pass completion rate of 91%.
He was among the team that went to the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar but played one match as a substitute for France.