Saint-Etienne Hit Out at Arsenal After Failed William Saliba Loan Swoop

07 October 2020 11:30

Arsenal have been publicly blasted by Saint-Etienne after a deadline day loan for William Saliba failed to materialise because the necessary paperwork was not completed - despite an agreement seemingly being in place in good time.

Arsenal signed Saliba from Saint-Etienne last summer, but immediately allowed the promising teenager to stay with his former team on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.

Tensions between the clubs eventually rose when no agreement was reached to extend Saliba’s loan to cover the delayed Coupe de France final.

Saint-Etienne publicly rebuked Arsenal over what they saw as denying Saliba an opportunity to play in the final and labelled the conditions set out by the Gunners as ‘unacceptable’. Arsenal hit back, saying they were willing to find a way for Saliba to play in the final, despite having no obligation to do so, and insisted their training requests were reasonable given his injury-hit campaign.

“We are simply not prepared to risk the welfare of an Arsenal player,” the club said at the time.

Yet despite the apparent ill-feeling between them, a second season-long loan for Saliba was on the cards before the summer transfer window closed earlier this week. But Saint-Etinne have blamed Arsenal with another public statement for it falling through.