Mikel Arteta gives extremely worrying response when asked if William Saliba is out for the season
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Mikel Arteta has given an update on William Saliba's fitness - and it's not good news for Arsenal supporters.
The France international has been attempting to work his way back to full fitness to help the Gunners in their title push.
Arsenal were seemingly given a boost when Saliba was spotted in training this week alongside Mohamed Elneny.
But reports on Wednesday claimed that the French defender would not be involved when Arsenal take on Southampton in the Premier League on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the game, Arteta confirmed the match had come too soon for Saliba and suggested he would also struggle to play a part in Wednesday's clash with title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad.
"Regarding William we still have to wait a bit more. He’s not progressing as quick as we hoped. It’s a bit delicate. We want to be sure when we push him," Arteta said, as reported by football.london.
Saliba out for the season?
When asked if Saliba could potentially miss the rest of the season through injury, Arteta admitted he was unsure.
"I don't know. It’s a bit early to do. There is some evolution. He's doing more activity but he's not ready yet to throw him in to that pitch," he added.
To make matters worse for Arsenal supporters, Arteta confirmed Oleksandr Zinchenko would also miss the match against Southampton because of a groin injury.
"It's a muscular injury and it needs some time to heal. We're not there yet," he added.
Arteta will hope to have Zinchenko available to face his former club City next week in a pivotal match in the title race.
Arsenal are four points clear of City at the top of the Premier League table, having played one game more than the defending champions.