Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for William Saliba since he signed for Arsenal in July 2019.
The defender was sent back to Saint-Etienne on loan for a season, with the plan being for him to get many matches under his belt and then be more ready for the demands of the Premier League.
A hamstring injury was followed quickly by a foot fracture, and added to Ligue 1 being curtailed due to the Covid-19 crisis, it meant Saliba only played 12 matches in France’s top division.
When he returned to Arsenal he clearly wasn’t able to impress Mikel Arteta enough in training, with the manager choosing to leave the player out of his Premier League squad. That means he’s been restricted to four appearance in the PL2 and an EFL Trophy match.
Needing regular matches if he’s going to progress his talent, a return to ASSE has been discussed repeatedly in the French media, although there’s been a worry over the costs associated with a loan.
Canal+ now report, via Foot-sur7, that Saliba is willing to make a ‘financial sacrifice’ on his wages to make sure a move can go through in January. That would see him lose as much as €100k a month, with Saint-Etienne unable to pay a big wage.
Given the Ligue 1 side are looking for a central defender, Saliba needing games, and Arteta not counting on him, the pieces are fitting together for a winter move.