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Mikel Arteta ‘feels sorry’ for William Saliba following recent Arsenal snub

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he feels for William Saliba having left the defender out of his Europa League squad.

Saliba is involved in the Gunners’ Premier League squad though will not feature in the European group stages.

Saliba was signed from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 for £27m and spent last season on loan with the French outfit.

He has struggled at the Emirates and seemingly can’t get a look in despite Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari being absent.

Though Arteta admits he feels Saliba’s pain with the youngster missing out on European competition.

Mikel Arteta takes his Arsenal side to Man Utd on Sunday
Mikel Arteta takes his Arsenal side to Man Utd on Sunday
(Image: GETTY)

“I feel really bad for William Saliba,” Arteta said. “Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.

“I was hoping that Pablo would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don’t have Pablo and we don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play, but when you make those decisions, you can’t always think about every possible outcome.

William Saliba is not in Arsenal's Europa League squad
William Saliba is not in Arsenal’s Europa League squad
(Image: GETTY)

“He’s [Saliba] in a much better place. He’s feeling a lot more confident around the place, his language is improving and he’s starting to understand much better what we’re doing physically.

“He’s played a few games with the under-23s which he needed because he didn’t play any football in the last seven or eight months. Things are progressively getting better and better.”

Arsenal beat Dundalk 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday and now prepare to travel to Manchester United on Sunday.

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On fringe players featuring against the Red Devils, Arteta added: “Yeah – they are always in the frame to play. It’s not because we lose or win, it’s what they bring to the team, how they play and what they have shown.

“The results at the end are the consequences of many things but individually how they do things is what determines whether they have the opportunity to play or not.”

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-mikel-arteta-william-saliba-22931750

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