Publish Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:40
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta wants to see William Saliba in Saint-Etienne as he believes the teenager has “won the right” to play in the French Cup final.
Saliba signed for Gunners last summer, but was loaned directly to Saint-Etienne to continue his development.
The 19-year-old defender lost three months of the season with a broken foot as the Ligue 1 campaign was interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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There have been no games in France since the beginning of March, but Saint-Etienne will face Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup final on 24 July.
Saliba’s initial loan contract only lasts until June 30, but he will not be able to play for Arsenal if he returns to Emirates Stadium.
Arteta is therefore interested in Saliba, who cost Arsenal $ 27 million last July to stay in place and take his place at the main event.
“I think he needs to stay there,” he said when asked about Saliba’s immediate future.
“We have an agreement with Saint-Etienne, he has been there all year. He won the right to play in that final if the coach (Claude Puel) wants to do that.
“I think we have to give him the opportunity to do that, to take advantage of that and we can have him after that.”
Although he remains in France since signing with Arsenal under former coach Unai Emery, Arteta has revealed that he has met Saliba on several occasions and admits that he knows there will be pressure on the Frenchman next year.
“I spoke to him a few times,” added Arteta.
“He’s been here a few times. We’ve been watching his season. As a young player, he had a difficult season with injuries, but that is part of his process.
“I know how high the expectations are for him next year, but we need to keep in mind the age at which he is and what he has done in the past, and ensure that we create the right environment for him so that he can remain a player . “
Arsenal face Premier League side Norwich on Wednesday night in their first home game since the start of the season.
They will do fitness tests for David Luiz, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira before the confrontation in the Canaries, with Cedric Soares also hoping to have recovered from a facial injury and be in contention to debut.