Mikel Arteta confirms William Saliba’s Arsenal future amid loan rumours

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that William Saliba will be staying at the club despite speculation linking him with a loan move.

There were high hopes for the French centre-back when he returned from last season's loan spell at Saint Etienne over the summer, with many believing he would become a first-choice name in Arteta's defence.

But as of yet he has yet to make an appearance, with rumours that the 19-year-old is struggling to settle in England.

There were some suggestions he could make a move to a lower-league club before the end of the domestic transfer window on Friday, with the likes of Brentford touted as a possible destination.

But when asked about whether he thinks any players will leave on loan in the coming days, Arteta replied: "Not at the moment."

When pressed on if that meant he thinks Saliba will stay, he simply added: "Yes".

It remains to be seen if Saliba is given any opportunities to impress in the coming weeks, but former Arsenal defender Martin Keown recently hit out at Arteta for his handling of the situation.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Keown said: "It’s bizarre. We’ve just not seen the kid. You want to see him to see how he performs say in the Championship to see if he’s good enough.

"I’m anxious to see. The feeling was that this was going to be the one."

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Saliba has been left out of Arsenal's Europa League squad, meaning he is only eligible to play in domestic competitions for the foreseeable future.

Arteta has tended to favour a back three, with David Luiz, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Gabriel all jostling for a place in the team.

And Saliba's chances of action will not be helped by the return of Calum Chambers, who will also be in contention after recovering from an ACL injury.

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