Arsenal fans are expressing concern as William Saliba’s fitness takes a worrying turn just as the Gunners are set to begin their title run-in with a home game against Leeds.
The 22-year-old French center-back, who has been a key player for Mikel Arteta’s team this season, sustained a back injury during their Europa League match against Sporting CP on March 16. Although Arteta initially downplayed the severity of the injury, it later emerged that Saliba’s condition was worse than expected.
Reports now suggest that he will likely miss the upcoming Premier League clash against Leeds on Saturday, and possibly more matches in the future.
A report fromfootball.londonsuggests Saliba will be absent for this weekend’s clash after missing training at their London Colney base on Thursday.
In addition to those fears, it is currently unclear when he will return to the first-team squad, althoughGOALclaim he is a ‘major doubt’ to face Liverpool next weekend.
After those reports involving Saliba emerged, Arsenal fans have been fearing the worst over his fitness as the Gunners prepare for a tough fixture list against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
One supporter said: “Regarding Saliba, classic Arteta mind games. I hope and pray,” while another wrote: “Not great that Saliba is a ‘major doubt’ for Liverpool.”
A third commented: “If Saliba might be out for a long time then its time we get behind Rob Holding. Stop overthinking formations and trust in Holdini.”
A fourth added: “Without Partey and Saliba…the leeds game will be very hard to win.”
Thomas Partey takes part in training ahead of Arsenal’s game against Leeds on Saturday but William Saliba misses the session 🔴 pic.twitter.com/3a3zSQnUIe
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 30, 2023
With 39 appearances for both club and country this season, Saliba has been an integral part of the Arsenal team, and his absence will be felt greatly by the Gunners.
Just last month, Mikel Arteta commended the French centre-back for effectively addressing the concerns that were raised about him at the beginning of the season.
“The first question was how the player is going to reintegrate into our dynamic after being out for so long,” said Arteta.
“Is there some frustration there, something personal between, for example, between me and the player because he could not understand that?
“Or his environment, his expectations coming back or the amount that we paid for him, his age, is it the same to do it in France as it is to do it in this League forArsenalbecause you don’t have 21-year-old defenders at the top level in England?
“There were a lot of question marks and he went with all of them, ticking them off and giving us every reason to be confident that he was a great player for us.”
On the topic of injuries, Thomas Partey participated in training on Thursday, and as a result, he is anticipated to play in the upcoming match against Javi Gracia’s team.