Arsenal technical director Edu says the club needs to hold talks with centre-back William Saliba in light of the defender’s continued failure to play a part in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Saliba signed for the Gunners 18 months ago for a fee thought to amount to £27millon.
He was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne.
His spell in France, under Claude Puel, came to an end in July 2020. And when he was handed the No.4 shirt for Arsenal, hopes were high of him making a big impact.
However, he’s yet to play a single minute for the club. And there are no immediate signs that Saliba will be called in anytime soon by Arteta.
Indeed, the Gunners boss has hinted that the 19-year-old could return to France again.
Arteta said: “It’s something that we are discussing at the moment. The best thing for us to do. It will be decided soon.”
Saliba may also have harmed his chances during an Instagram chat with French compatriot and fellow Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi.
“I’m sending well wishes to the brother who was locked up like me,” said Saliba. That was a reference to Guendouzi also being frozen out before his loan move to Hertha Berlin.
Edu believes the situation must now be sorted.
The Brazilian told an Arsenal fan forum: “Maybe he needs a little more time.
“He’s a bright talent. We need to talk with him and Mikel to plan for next year.”
Saliba laughs off lack of game time
Saliba showed a lighter view of his current plight in a recent video posted on Arsenal’s YouTube channel.
The youngster was joined by fellow Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette, with the pair asked to name famous players from their country to play for Arsenal.
Lacazette suggested Saliba, but the defender said: “I haven’t played yet!”
Lacazette then said: “Of course. Oh, but you signed! Does Saliba count or no?”
Saliba replied: “No, because I didn’t play.”
Lacazette pointed out that signing for the club should warrant his place on the list. However, the defender again pointed out that he has yet to line up for the first team.