By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
The lead trainer of French Ligue 1 franchise AS Saint Etienne has questionned Arsenal’s decision to sign 19-year-old potential Indomitable Lions of Cameroon defender William Saliba barely days after the Gunners left the player out of their 25-man squad for the 2020-2021 UEFA Europa League.
The teenager joined Arsenal last summer on £27million deal from but spent last season on loan at the French Club with expectations to get more game time.
Unfortunately Saliba picked up an injury which consumed a part of his season, limiting just 15 appearances at Saint-Etienne.
This summer he returned to his parent Club but looked out of the picture till now and failed to secure a second loan.
Saliba only featured in a pre-season friendly win over MK Dons but is still waiting to make his competitive debut because coach Arteta believes he is not ready for senior first team football.
Claude Puel believes Arsenal is not being fair to the player especially because Brentford and Watford were said to be monitoring Saliba’s situation.
The player will be around the Arsenal squad this season though not in the heart of events.
‘It was short-term [thinking], even for the kids. A superb player like William, to whom I wish the best, has not even made it to Arsenal’s Europa League squad. Where is the logic, if not financial?’ Puel questioned via L’Equipe.
The outspoken former Southampton boss, meanwhile, confirmed his Club tried to secure Saliba’s return earlier this summer and the teenager was keen on making the move but Arsenal did not enhance the process somehow.
In all honesty, Saliba could have been more comfortable at Saint-Etienne this season than he would be at Arsenal.
‘Saliba had a great desire to join us,’ he added. ‘The Club are a bit like family and friends [to him]. His adaptation would have been very fast.
‘This would have happened if all the conditions had met. It had to remain consistent with our finances and his contract, particularly for the management,’ Puel concluded.
The player certainly needs opportunities to play at Arsenal or a Club that can provide the opportunities to enhance his development.
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