William Saliba breaks foot as he faces another spell on the sidelines

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Arsenal defender William Saliba faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after breaking his foot whilst on duty for Saint-Etienne.

Saliba, 18, signed for the Gunners in the summer from the French club but was immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 side.

Despite missing the first six weeks of the season with an adductor injury, Saliba has been one of the star performers for Claude Puel’s side.

He is, however, set to be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future after breaking his foot in The Greens’ 1-0 win over AS Monaco last weekend.

A club statement read: “William Saliba, victim of a blow against AS Monaco last Sunday (1-0), suffers a crack of the fifth metatarsal and will miss the confrontation against the FCO.”

Saliba’s loan spell with Saint-Etienne will come to an end at the culmination of the 2019-20 season.

And the youngster, who was also on Tottenham’s radar, believes spending another season in France will stand him in good stead when he moves to north London.

He said: “Well, it was important first of all because I wanted to prove myself for another year at Saint-Etienne, before I come to try and establish myself here at Arsenal,” he said.

“This is a big club, and when you come here, you need to be ready.

“So I’m going to try and have a great season with the club that developed me in order to be ready for Arsenal.”

Since taking over Saint-Etienne, former Southampton and Leicester chief Puel has been thoroughly impressed by Saliba’s performances.

Puel wishes he could retain the centre-back’s services and has lamented the club’s decision to sell him.

“It’s done, adopted and I’ve got nothing to say because it helped perform. Saint-Etienne have held their rank these past few years. Finishing fourth is a great result. Work was done in the short-term.

“Is this model viable? I don’t think it can make the club a success. Rather than buying a ready-made player, I’d rather we buy him to develop him and help him grow.

“It’s hard to accept that we sell our best player, a young kid, to help fill the coffers.

“When you have to sell your gems to round up the budget and then do short term deals to fill in the gaps, you’re being reactionary.”

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