William Saliba looks set for another loan spell in France after struggling to adapt to life at Arsenal at the start of this season

The 19-year-old centre-back signed permanently for the Gunners last summer, but spent last season on loan at Saint Etienne.

There were high hopes for him at the start of this campaign, but so far he has yet to play a minute, and he was surprisingly left out the squad which beat Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

And according to Oest-France Ligue 1 side Rennes are in talks with Arsenal about a deal which would see Saliba return to France for another season.


Gunners boss Mikel Arteta hinted at Saliba’s departure following the game against Liverpool, while also explaining the reasons behind his lack of action so far.

“He had a year last year where Arsenal loaned him to St Etienne and that was a transition year for him,” Arteta said.

“For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal injuries and also with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year.

“He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year for him to have the player we want in our future.”


Arteta has tended to opt for a back three so far this season, and has plenty of strength in depth in defence, so in that aspect perhaps Saliba would not be too missed.

It would come as a disappointment to supporters, however, who felt he could have been an important part of the first-team this year.

It remains to be seen if any other offers come in for Saliba, but a move to Rennes looks the most likely option at the moment.