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Arteta refuses to rule out possibility of Saliba being out for the SEASON



MIKEL ARTETA has said he is “hopeful” William Saliba will be back before the end of the season – but did not guarantee his return.

The Frenchman limped out of the Europa League game to Sporting Lisbon earlier this month before Arsenal crashed out of the competition on penalties.

Saliba had started every Premier League game until that point, forming a solid partnership with Gabriel.

Their defensive foundation has provided the perfect launchpad for Arsenal’s stunning season with the Gunners sitting top of the league with eight games to go.

But Saliba will now be missing for tomorrow’s home game against Leeds with a back issue, with his manager unable to confirm that he’ll be back before the end of the season.


When asked if he will return this season, Arteta said: “Yeah I am very hopeful and he is as well. Back injuries are a bit tricky and how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas.

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“Let’s push it and see how he copes with that. He’s so willing to be back in the team.

“Hopefully we get the right load for him, the right amount of rest that he needs while we’re keeping him active, and the pain starts to go away and we are more comfortable with the images we have of him that we can start to take him to the pitch and do certain activities with him. That’s it.”

Rob Holding was impressive as he filled in for Saliba just before the international break in a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Arteta may opt for the 27-year-old again with Holding having made just 8 Premier League appearances so far this campaign.


He is sure to be tested with difficult games ahead in the title run-in.

The Gunners’ fixture list includes trips to Liverpool and Manchester City and a home game against Chelsea.


Source: The Sun

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