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Some Arsenal fans were livid after great talent William Saliba was completely out of the squad for tonight’s tie against Manchester City, with Mikel Arteta questioning the ace after the loss.
Arteta was questioned as to why the 19-year-old, who has yet to make his competitive debut with the Gunners, was turned away despite the baseline rotation for the Carabao Cup quarter-final clash.
Then came some rather confusing comments from Arteta, the Arsenal boss seemed to suggest that Saliba was not selected because he did not think the defender would be eligible for the EFL cup tie.
The rules state that any player who is registered / available for the Premier League, in this case Saliba is automatically under 21 years old, is also eligible for League Cup matches.
Arteta ignored the journalist’s search for clarification on the apparent error of the coach and the club, before the Spaniard commented on Saliba’s immediate future with the full-back.
The former Arsenal captain-turned-boss confirmed they are ‘talking’ of a January loan outing for the promising defender, in a play that would offer the first-team soccer ace.
See more: ‘There is no point in regretting’ – Arteta talks about the sale of Emi Martínez after the disaster of Runarsson in the defeat of Man City
Here’s what Mikel Arteta has said about William Saliba having no chance tonight and the prospect of a January loan out for the Arsenal defender. pic.twitter.com/O0CC7tJqaZ
– CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 22, 2020
Arteta: “Yes, but he can’t be involved because he’s not on the team.”
Journalist: “Not on the team? Were you under the impression that you were eligible to play in EFL games? “
Arteta: “No, we made that decision with him and we will see what we are going to do in January.”
Journalist: “So the plan is to lend it?”
Arteta: “We are talking about that, yes.”
Saliba was signed last summer for a fee of £ 27 million according to BBC SportWith that transfer agreement, the ace spent last season with his childhood club, Saint-Etienne.
Unfortunately, injury issues and Ligue 1’s decision to shorten the season left Saliba with far less action than anyone would have expected, making his case to present this season even more difficult.
Sure enough, when the new Premier League season began, Arteta was able to draw on his defenders in form that finished impressively in England’s summer restart, plus new recruit Gabriel Magalhaes, while Saliba’s latest action came early. of March.
Saliba, by contrast, has been left at the U-23 / U-21 level this season, appearing six times in Premier League 2 and twice when the team was eliminated from the EFL Trophy.
The French U-20 international has hinted at the quality he could bring to the struggling first team, but once again things out of Saliba’s hands have prevented him from having a chance.
Arteta was apparently confused regarding the registration and eligibility rules during his post-match conference, which may be an unforgivable mistake that could hit Saliba in January.
An impressive start could have shown that the ace was ready for first-team action, but the fact that he did not have that opportunity may influence the club’s decision regarding the release of the loan.