Saliba keen to stay in UK as untested Arsenal defender looks to ‘speed up his adaptation’ with January loan

William Saliba is keen to stay in the UK if he leaves Arsenal on loan next month as the north London side look to ‘speed up his adaptation’ with another temporary switch.

Saliba signed for Arsenal in a £27m deal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 before returning to the French side on loan to continue his development, making 11 league starts for the club last season in a campaign disrupted by injuries and the coronavirus pandemic.

The teenager returned to the Emirates during the summer and was expected to challenge for a place in Mikel Arteta’s side, though has failed to make a single senior appearance for the Gunners to date.

Saliba’s exclusion comes despite Arsenal making their worst ever start to a Premier League season, their 1-0 home defeat to Burnley on Sunday leaving the club 15th in the division after 12 fixtures.

It’s been a difficult period for the 19-year-old who arrived with a burgeoning reputation as one of Europe’s most promising young centre-backs, and according to The Athletic he could now depart on loan once more in search of regular first-team football.

Arsenal have an abundance of options at centre-back presently with as many as six senior players currently ahead of Saliba in the pecking order, with Arteta having confirmed the club are considering the possibility of sanctioning another loan switch.

Saliba is keen to remain in the UK should he leave on loan once more, in a move that could accelerate his development and adaptation as he bids to force his way into the side next season.

Arsenal remain confident that the youngster can fulfil his potential despite a difficult start to his career with the Gunners, whilst his prospects of involvement could improve next season with David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis all out-of-contract at the end of the current campaign.

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