November 28, 2023

William saliba’s return revealed as Mikel Arteta considers the decision.

William saliba's return revealed as Mikel Arteta considers the decision.

William saliba’s return revealed as Mikel Arteta considers the decision.

Following Mikel Arteta’s more worrisome updates, Arsenal fans are anxiously awaiting word on when William Saliba will be fit for selection.

Since the Europa League round of 16 penalty shootout loss to Sporting CP, the France international has been sidelined with a back injury, missing the Gunners’ Premier League games against Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Liverpool, West Ham United, Southampton, and Manchester City.

There was optimism that Saliba would be fit for Wednesday night’s match at the Etihad Stadium, especially after Mohamed Elneny posted a video of the defender riding an exercise bike in the gym, but Arteta confirmed the 21-year-old is likely to miss Tuesday’s match against Chelsea.

“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a significant improvement in him, so we’re still waiting,” the Spaniard said in his Tuesday morning press conference before Manchester City.

We are still hopeful, but he has not been able to train with the team for another week.

“Currently, we do not have him. We are preparing for the game without him, and the next game will likely also arrive too soon. Currently, we must take things week by week.

Given that the Gunners will have four games remaining after Chelsea’s visit and that Saliba is not close to rejoining the senior squad in full training, the discussion amongst Gunners’ fans is naturally centered on whether the defender will return to action to aid the club’s pursuit of winning the Premier League title in May.

Several factors indicate what the Frenchman’s probable return game could be.

The fact that he has not yet been declared out for the remainder of the season increases his chances of playing against Newcastle United, Brighton, Nottingham Forest, or Wolves.

It should be noted, however, that given Arteta’s cautious approach with players returning from long-term injuries, if Saliba is not back in full training within the next two weeks or so, he may not be considered for selection until preseason, allowing him to get sufficient rest before the 2023/24 season.

With Takehiro Tomiyasu also incapacitated for the remainder of the season, if Saliba suffers the same fate, Arteta would be left without natural right-sided central defensive options as he ponders how to address the defensive frailties his team has displayed in recent weeks.

After the 4-1 loss at the Etihad, Arteta said, “We wanted to make some adjustments, especially there.”

“However, when they execute and score an early goal, you must understand where we’re coming from and be loyal to what has brought us this far.”

Different methods were utilized in the past, but that does not guarantee anything. It is time to reflect on what we could have done differently or better.”

William saliba’s return revealed as Mikel Arteta considers the decision.

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