Mikel Arteta has admitted that William Saliba could leave Arsenal on loan in the January transfer window after making a poor start to his Gunners career.
The French teenager was signed last summer and was expected to be a regular starter in defence this term but is yet to play a single minute and was even left out of the club's Europa League squad.
A loan spell with boyhood club Saint-Etienne fell through late in the summer transfer window and Arteta, who is "fed up" with the situation, admits a spell away could be on the cards.
“I am fed up with the situation because as you could see we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football.
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“I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint-Etienne, for many reasons that didn’t happen, he didn’t have that transition year and he needs to go through that.
“At the moment, with the amount of central defenders that we have in the team we had to leave him out of the squad which is painful because we have some injuries and we could have used him, but it’s part of this profession.
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“We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club and we had it, but at the end of the day we could not make it.
“We will review his situation in the next few weeks, sit down with him as well and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.”
Fofana and Saliba are both great prospects - Eurosport France
Saliba’s struggles are provided an extra layer of context by the excellence of another former St Etienne defender, Wesley Fofana, who has excelled at Leicester City. However, Eurosport France’s Vincent Bregevin insists both are top prospects.
“Saliba proved himself as a great defender in Ligue 1, so his lack of playing time is a surprise,” begins Eurosport France’s Bregevin.
“It is not surprising that Wesley Fofana is performing so well at Leicester, but, of the two, Saliba had the more hype. Both are great prospects, with Saliba just shading it.”