After almost wrapping up a loan deal for Rob Holding a few months ago, there’s now another Arsenal centre-back who looks to be available ahead of the January transfer window.
According to Sky Sports, French talent William Saliba has been told he can leave next month in a bid to gain regular first team football over the second half of the season – and he may well appeal to Steve Bruce.
With Lejeune being allowed to leave, the Holding deal breaking down and us since being linked with loan moves for the likes of Phil Jones and Fikayo Tomori – the latter is now set to join Rennes – it seems clear that the signing of another centre-back will be high on the agenda heading into the new year.
Bruce may well have other ideas in mind (see above), but there’s a lot to like about Saliba – who recently sealed a £27m move to Arsenal after starring in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne.
He stands 6ft 3′ tall, is confident on the ball and very mobile for his height, with him standing out when I was in the East Stand to watch our pre-season friendly with Saint-Etienne last summer.
A year on and to the surprise of several Gunners fans, he was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League squad despite an impressive pre-season.
Now, not only are Sky Sports reporting that he’s been made available on loan, The Athletic claim that he’s keen to stay in England – rather than secure a temporary return to France in January.
Arteta was clearly happy to send Holding to St James’ Park before a late U-turn saw it collapse, so a move for Saliba could be one to watch given our apparent need for a centre-back and likeliness to pursue loans.
Hypothetical of course, but hard to ignore when he appears to tick a lot of boxes for us.