The 19-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for the Gunners even though he joined them permanently in the summer after his season-long loan at Saint-Etienne came to an end. He was left out of the club’s Europa League squad. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had said that the player was not ready to play for the first team as he had not had the transitional year at Saint-Etienne that the North London club had hoped he would have.
Saliba made just 17 appearances for the French side last season due to injuries and the fact that the French domestic campaign was cancelled early due to the coronavirus. The Frenchman has also had to deal with some personal issues which have contributed to his lack of game time in North London.
More recently, Arteta has said that the French central defender has made big strides in training and will be called upon when an opportunity arises. It is likely, however, that he will be sent out on loan in order to get regular game time.
He was close to rejoining Saint-Etienne on loan towards the end of the summer transfer window but the move collapsed due to administrative challenges. The Frenchman would prefer to join a club in the UK on loan next month in order to adapt to the physicality of British football. If a move to a Premier League or Championship club does not materialise, he is being courted by a host of French clubs and could head back to France for the second half of the season.
It has been reported that Arsenal could be open to letting Saliba leave the club permanently but this is not true. The Gunners are understood to be optimistic about his place in their project and want to help him get regular game time so that he continues his development and is ready to play for the club next season.