Arsenal star fails fitness test ahead of Crystal Palace clash
Arsenal‘s young French defender William Saliba has reportedly been ruled out for the club’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The 21-year-old suffered an injury in the first half of the Gunners’ Europa League clash against Sporting CP and was replaced by Rob Holding.
A win against Palace on Sunday could see Mikel Arteta’s men move eight points clear at the summit, with second-placed Manchester City not in league action until April having played in the FA Cup this weekend.
However, Arsenal’s task of winning the game has become complicated as L’Equipe (via The Sun) have reported that William Saliba could be out for ‘several weeks’ due to a back injury. The defender has also reportedly withdrawn from the French national team for the upcoming international break.
Saliba was called up to Didier Deschamps’ squad to face Ireland and the Netherlands later this month but will miss out on those games. While minutes for his country have been limited, William Saliba has been a crucial part of Arsenal’s defense as they look to mount a title challenge.
William Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for £27 million and was loaned back to the French club. He then spent a successful season on loan at Marseille before becoming a mainstay in the Gunners’ lineup this season.
However, he will not be in the squad to face Crystal Palace later today and has been replaced by academy prodigy Reuell Walters.
Saliba has made 33 appearances for Arsenal across competitions this season, scoring three goals and assisting one goal.
Arsenal will look to capitalize against manager-less Palace
Crystal Palace sent shockwaves across the Premier League earlier this week as they announced they have parted ways with manager Patrick Vieira. The Eagles are without a win in 2023 but are still somehow 12th in the table, leading to questions being raised about the timing of the decision.
What is even more ironic is that Vieira was relieved of his duties just before he could visit the club where he first made a name for himself in England. This could now play into Mikel Arteta’s hands, who will be eager to stretch his team’s lead at the summit to eight points.
Palace have managed just three attempts on target in their last four league games and have picked up just one point. No game in the Premier League is easy but the Gunners are well placed to capitalize on the situation despite having their own injury issues.