ARSENAL chiefs have concerns over William Saliba’s ‘groin strength’ but are generally very happy with their young defender, according to reports.
Saliba, 18, joined the club from Saint-Etienne over the summer but part of the deal saw him return to the Ligue 1 club on loan this term.
He did not play until September 29, though, due to surgery on an adductor muscle injury and headed back to London Colney to spend some time with his parent club.
And while he was there, he is understood to have impressed Gunners bosses.
But according to The Athletic, there were concerns from some of the staff about his ‘groin strength’ among other specific areas when he first arrived.
Overall, though, the mood is very positive surrounding the Frenchman.
Arsenal recognise that Saliba is still young and inexperienced but are confident he will be challenging for a first-team spot come next season.
With Saint-Etienne’s facilities not on the same scale as Arsenal’s, his parent club are in close contact with the teenager.
And no wonder they are keen to ensure he is in the best condition possible after spending £27million on the centre-back.
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North London rivals Spurs were also very interested but he decided to join his compatriots Matteo Guendouzi – who convinced him to join – and Alexandre Lacazette at the Emirates.
Speaking about Arsenal’s signing of Saliba earlier this summer, manager Unai Emery said: “We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future.
“He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group.”