Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta

I feel bad for Saliba: Arteta after leaving defender out of Europa League's squad

ANI | Updated: Oct 29, 2020 17:15 IST

London [UK], October 29 (ANI): Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is not happy with his decision of leaving the defender William Saliba out of the Gunners' Europa League squad.
After joining up with the London side on a full-time basis Saliba was unable to immediately win over the confidence of the manager.
The defender was left out of the group that will play European football before Christmas, despite a crisis at centre-back ahead of the encounter with Dundalk leaving Arteta's men short in that area.

Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari were already missing when David Luiz limped out of the 1-0 loss to Leicester on Sunday, leaving Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi as the only natural options in that role for the encounter with the Irish side.
"I feel really bad for William Saliba. Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do," quoted Arteta as saying.
"I was hoping that Pablo would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don't have Pablo and we don't have William when he's fit and available to play, but when you make those decisions, you can't always think about every possible outcome," he added.
However, Arteta feels that Saliba has improved his game and is in a better place.
"He's in a much better place. He's feeling a lot more confident around the place, his language is improving and he's starting to understand much better what we're doing physically. He's played a few games with the under-23s which he needed because he didn't play any football in the last seven or eight months. Things are progressively getting better and better," he said. (ANI)