Saliba should come back to Saint-Etienne – Debuchy

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 17 May 2021 21:59 BST 3 min read
Saliba should come back to Saint-Etienne – Debuchy

Arsenal defender William Saliba should return to Saint-Etienne during the January transfer window, says Mathieu Debuchy.

Saliba is yet to feature for the Gunners this season and has been notably left out of their Europa League squad.

The 19-year-old came close to moving back to Saint-Etienne in the summer, only for the deal to break down when it was agreed too late to become official.

Saint-Etienne’s fortunes have mirrored those of Saliba as they have lost seven straight matches amid an injury crisis.

Now Debuchy, who spent four years with the Gunners from 2014 to 2018, wants the 19-year-old to move back to his formative club.

William Saliba snapshot:

STYLEBall playing defender

“We know Saliba’s qualities, he was very impressive at Saint-Etienne,” he told Telefoot La Chaine.

‘Unfortunately for him at Arsenal the start didn’t go the way he wanted it to, I think.

“There is William, there is Wesley [Fofana], these are two defenders who left us and who did incredibly well so it was loss.

“If William wants to come back this winter he will be welcome and he will have the advantage of knowing the team.

“I’m sure in the current state we need two or three players to complete this squad.

“Whether it is in defence and perhaps also in attack. I trust the coach to provide these solutions.”


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  • Saint-Etienne may well make a move for Saliba in the January window. Presently, Timothee Kolodziejczak and former Middlesbrough defender Harold Moukoudi are playing in the centre of their defence, with promising Greece international Panagiotis Retsos injured.

    Arsenal, meanwhile, have had their issues in defence, too. David Luiz was forced off against Molde in the Europa League in midweek but the injury is not thought to be serious. Pablo Mari, who has not played this season due to ankle trouble, should return soon.

    It seems, then, that there is little space for Saliba in the current set up to get the game time Arteta has previously said he needs to develop.