William Saliba May Face Problem With Return to Arsenal

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William Saliba
Saint-Etienne's French defender William Saliba gestures during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne (ASSE) on October 20, 2019, at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal player William Saliba has been on loan at Saint Etienne this season; his return to his parent club could be a difficult one.

William Saliba May Face Problem With Return to Arsenal

The French centre-back signed for the Gunners in a hard-fought North London transfer battle from Saint Etienne. Furthermore, the fee was a reported £27-million. However, he was immediately loaned back.

Although he has been struck with injury problems this season, the 18-year-old has impressed this season.

Saliba has averaged 1.5 tackles per game, with 1.8 interceptions per 90 to boot, according to WhoScored.com. He also averages 2.5 clearances each match. That’s impressive for someone who’s barely become an adult in recent times.

Of course, his injury woes have prevented him from having an even better season, but this extra experience will prove good once he returns to his parent club. That is, whenever he does.

According to Football.London, Saliba could see his return to Arsenal as a complicated affair due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Suspension of Football Complicates His Loan

The young Frenchman and his associated clubs will have a problem to face.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, many football leagues are suspending their seasons.

The Premier League is not due to return until April 30 at the earliest, and that could go on for even longer. Leagues around Europe are in the same situation, with Ligue 1 in France not due to return until mid-April at the earliest.

This means that, even if games were to resume in that time, the season would bleed into the summer, unless fixtures are cramped.

Ordinarily, the French centre-back would be due to arrive at the Emirates on July 1. That’s the end of his loan deal with Saint Etienne. However, if the season is delayed, it could bleed into July. What would Arsenal and Saint Etienne do then?

The Ligue 1 season could indeed wrap up its season before then. But, if they haven’t, does Saliba stay to finish the season with the French outfit, or join up with his new Arsenal team-mates as scheduled?

We won’t know until the time comes.

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