Mikel Arteta responds to William Saliba’s desire to leave Arsenal

Mikel Arteta says it is ‘painful’ to see William Saliba struggle for a place at Arsenal (Getty/Arsenal)

Mikel Arteta claims he is ‘fed up’ with William Saliba’s situation at Arsenal following reports that the defender is keen to leave the club in January.

The 19-year-old, who was signed in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne, is yet to make his debut for Arsenal and has only featured for the club’s Under-23s so far this season.

Saliba’s chances of a regular role at Arsenal have also been reduced after Arteta left him out of his Europa League squad.

Reports in France this week have claimed that Saliba is unhappy with his lack of playing time at Arsenal and is now seeking a return to Saint-Etienne on loan in the next transfer window.

And Arteta admits Saliba needs to go through a ‘transition’ before he can compete for a regular role at Arsenal.

‘I’m fed up with the situation because as you could see we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football,’ said Arteta.

William Saliba has only featured for Arsenal’s Under-23s this season (Getty Images)

‘I explained that he needed that transition…