Arsenal ‘to loan out William Saliba to Brentford’ with Mikel Arteta keen for £27m centre back to work on his defending from set pieces before forcing his way into the first team
- William Saliba joined Arsenal in a £27m deal from Saint-Etienne last summer
- The 19-year-old also spent the whole of last season on loan at the French side
- But injuries and coronavirus meant he did not get the game time Arsenal wanted
- Mikel Arteta now wants to loan him out with Brentford heavily interested
Arsenal are set to loan out centre back William Saliba to Championship side Brentford, according to reports.
The Gunners signed the 19-year-old defender from Saint-Etienne for £27million last summer, with the agreement stating he would remain at the Ligue 1 side for another season.
However, injuries curtailed his progress before the French league was cancelled last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but fans of the north London club were nevertheless excited at the possibility of seeing him in the Gunners back line this season.
Arsenal are set to loan out centre back William Saliba to Championship side Brentford
Boss Mikel Arteta wants to send him out on loan to work on his defending from set pieces
But according to ESPN, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes he needs to develop further before he can hope to break into the first team at Emirates Stadium.
The report claims the Spaniard wants the Frenchman to focus particularly on improving his defending from set pieces and also to work on maturity in his play, which involves not diving in to tackles.
Watford are also reportedly considering rivalling Brentford with a bid of their own before the October 16 deadline between Premier League and EFL clubs to do deals.
Saliba made just 15 appearances for Saint-Etienne last season as he suffered a metatarsal fracture in November last year which kept him out for a couple of months, before the Covid-19 outbreak struck.
Saliba spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne as part of the £27m move that was agreed
However injuries and the coronavirus pandemic saw him endure a frustrating season in France
Arteta had made it clear earlier this month that Saliba – who was also left out of Arsenal’s 25-man Europa League squad for this season – still requires a transitional year.
Speaking after Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties in the Carabao Cup, Arteta said: ‘He had year last where Arsenal essentially loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him.
‘For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, he had some personal issues and obviously with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year, so he needs that year of transition.
‘He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to make the best possible year of transition for him to have the player we want for our future.’
Arteta reportedly wants the young centre back to work on his style and not dive into tackles