Arsenal will be hoping for a positive injury update on William Saliba, with the centre-back suffering from a back issue at the Emirates Stadium, journalist Paul Brown has told GIVEMESPORT.
The 22-year-old was forced off in the Gunners’ Europa League defeat to Sporting CP almost two weeks ago.
Arsenal injury news – William Saliba
Following Saliba’s setback earlier this month, the French Football Federation announced that the defender would be replaced in the France set-up, having been deemed unfit to play across the international break.
Mikel Arteta will have been satisfied that the talented youngster will be getting a rest as the Gunners look to secure their first Premier League title since 2004 come the end of the season.
Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor recently suggested to GIVEMESPORT that Saliba’s injury could be “a bit more of a problem than first thought” for the north London side, which would be a blow for Arteta.
And Brown says the Premier League giants will hope Saliba is “ready to go 100%” after the international break.
What has Brown said about Arsenal and Saliba?
When speaking about Saliba’s injury, Brown told GIVEMESPORT: “They’ll be hoping for positive injury news.
“He came back to Arsenal, and a lot of people weren’t expecting him to play much of a part.
“There was talk he might be sent back out on loan again if he didn’t impress in pre-season, but he’s become a key part of the team.
“I think they need him fit and firing. So, they’ll certainly hope that he’s ready to go 100% after the break.”
How has Saliba performed for Arsenal this season?
Despite signing at the Emirates for a fee of £27m in the summer of 2019, Saliba – previously described as “perfect” by journalist Fabrizio Romano – has taken until this season to nail down a regular spot in the Gunners team, having been loaned back to Saint-Etienne over the past few campaigns.
The eight-cap France international has made 27 Premier League appearances for Arteta’s outfit this term, hitting the back of the net twice and providing one assist while helping the side keep 12 clean sheets, indicating that he has become a vital cog in this title-challenging team.
The 6 foot 4 star compares favourably to his positional peers in some aspects of his game, ranking in the top 5% of centre-backs across Europe’s big five leagues as well as the Champions League and Europa League for pass success rate per 90 minutes (91.9%) over the last 365 days, according to FBref.
Therefore, the Arsenal management, players and fans alike will be desperate for Saliba to be fit and firing for this weekend’s visit of Leeds United as we reach the business end of the season.