Reports from France suggest that Arsenal defender William Saliba will be out for several weeks following a back injury he sustained during the Gunners’ Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.
The 21-year-old was forced off the pitch during the first half of the game, sparking concerns over his fitness for Arsenal’s upcoming matches.
Saliba has been an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s side this season, starting every Premier League game and establishing himself as a key player in the team. His injury will undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Gunners, who will be hoping for a quick recovery from the young defender.
Initial reports suggested that Saliba would undergo a fitness test prior to Arsenal’s match against Crystal Palace on Sunday, but RMC Sport has now confirmed that he will not be involved in the game. It remains to be seen whether he will be fit to join the senior France squad for their upcoming friendlies during the international break.
If Saliba is unable to play for France, Monaco’s Axel Disasi and Chelsea’s Benoit Badashile are among the possible replacements for Didier Deschamps.
According to L’Equipe, Saliba will be absent for ‘several weeks’ as a result of his back injury, ruling him out of France’s upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland. This news will undoubtedly be a significant blow to Arsenal, who will miss his presence on the pitch.
However, the timing of Saliba’s injury does mean that he has time to recover ahead of Arsenal’s post-international break matches. With the Gunners not in action for another 13 days after Sunday’s match, Saliba will have some time to rest and recover before potentially returning to the team.
Saliba’s injury is a reminder of how quickly things can change in football, and how crucial it is to have a deep squad with players who can step up when needed. Arsenal will now have to rely on their other defenders to fill the void left by Saliba’s absence and continue their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Despite the setback, there is still plenty of optimism around Arsenal this season, with Arteta’s side showing signs of progress and improvement in recent weeks. The Gunners will be hoping that Saliba’s injury is not too serious and that he will be back in action soon to help the team achieve their goals for the season.