Saliba Sends Message to Arteta That He Needs to Start Playing Games

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William Saliba feels ready to play for Arsenal whenever he gets the opportunity to do so, according to a report in France.

GFFN report that one of William Saliba’s former teammates tells them the Arsenal defender feels ‘very ready’ to play for the team whenever he gets the call.

As we know, Saliba is finding first-team minutes at Arsenal hard to come by. He’s not in the Europa League squad due to the lack of non-homegrown spaces available, and he’s only made two matchday squads all season – one in the Community Shield and one in the League Cup.

The 19-year-old did get a couple of games for the u23s in the Premier League 2, but that’s all so far.

The decision from Mikel Arteta is difficult for many Arsenal fans to understand, particularly given fellow 19-year-old Wesley Fofana starting for Leicester City, as he did against the Gunners over the weekend.

Both came from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne as teenagers, and if anything, Saliba joined with higher expectations about his future potential. But one of them is starting regularly and the other can’t even make the bench.

With all the defensive injuries for Arsenal, this should be the perfect time to give Saliba some minutes. However, he can’t play against Dundalk in the Europa League, and it would be surprising to see him make his debut at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Arsenal have created a situation where they need the centre-back to play, but they have no way of easing him into the action. He essentially missed out on the Europa League squad on seniority, which was a mistake in hindsight.

It’s hard to see the pathway for Saliba to work his way in, but Arteta needs to make it happen. Arsenal don’t have the luxury of reliable centre-backs in terms of ability or fitness. They may as well give opportunities to someone they hope can star for them in the future.