Mikel Arteta reveals Arsenal's decision over William Saliba's future

Mikel Arteta has confirmed that William Saliba will not be going out on loan and will remain with Arsenal until at least January.

Saliba is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners since joining the club from Saint-Etienne back in July 2019 and had looked set for a temporary move away from north London.

The 19-year-old central defender was loaned back to Saint-Etienne last term and was reportedly ‘devastated’ that Arsenal failed to reach a similar agreement with the Ligue 1 outfit for this season.

Fulham were another team heavily linked with Saliba and Championship side Brentford also explored a temporary deal for the young defender ahead of Friday’s deadline.

But the teenager, who was given a chance to impress in pre-season, will be fighting for a place in Arsenal’s first-team after Arteta revealed the club expect no further business ahead of their clash with Manchester City.

Asked whether he expects any more players to go out on loan, Arteta replied: ‘Not at the moment.’

Pressed on whether Saliba will be staying at Arsenal, the Spaniard bluntly responded: ‘Yes.’

Saliba was among the players who missed out on a place in Arsenal’s Europa League squad which was announced last week.

Mesut Ozil was also left out and Arteta insists it was a ‘really difficult decision’ but one he had to make.

‘Well he wasn’t the only one that wasn’t in the squad,’ the Arsenal head coach added.

‘It was a really difficult decision for me to make because to leave players out of the squad at that level where they know they can’t get involved is really tough.

‘I don’t like it at all but the decision had to be made because we have a limit on foreign players and unfortunately we have to make a decision.’

Arsenal are preparing for what could be one of the toughest tests of the campaign at the Etihad this weekend but Arteta’s men will fancy their chances against an out-of-form Manchester City side.

After all, Arteta – who worked as Pep Guardiola’s assistant for three-and-a-half years before taking charge of the Gunners – outwitted his fellow countryman en route to last season’s FA Cup triumph.

Deadline-day signing Thomas Partey could feature in the north-west but will have to make an immediate impression in training if he is to make his full Arsenal debut.

‘Well he was here just yesterday and he is getting familiar with everything around the club,’ Arteta said.

‘Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him.

‘We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.

‘I have seen the buzz around the place, the fans are really happy, I have seen some really positive reactions after we bought him, the same with the team, the squad and the staff.

‘I think he is a player we had the radar on for a long time and we have managed to bring him in and I think he will be a really important addition to the team.

‘He got to know some of his team-mates [already]. Not all of them, because some are still on international duty but we will have everyone back today and it will be a good day for him to get to know everyone.’

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