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Mikel Arteta has two options for William Saliba with Arsenal stars to miss Crystal Palace clash

Mikel Arteta has two options for William Saliba with Arsenal stars to miss Crystal Palace clash

The decision of whether or not to call up a young Arsenal player for the London derby against Crystal Palace depends on William Saliba’s evaluation of the back injury he sustained during the match against Sporting CP.

Saliba was forced to leave the game in the 20th minute, and he was not the only Arsenal defender to suffer an injury in the first half. Takehiro Tomiyasu only lasted nine minutes before leaving the Emirates Stadium on crutches.

He is expected to miss the game against Crystal Palace and it is uncertain when he will be fit to play again after the international break.

As a result, Arteta may need to call upon a young player to fill in the gaps.

SportsDias understands that William Saliba will undergo further evaluation to determine whether he can play in the starting lineup for the Arsenal vs Crystal Palace game. However, it is important to note that Mikel Arteta has stated that he will not take any chances on players who are not at least 90% fit to play.

“A player that is 50/50 cannot play in the Premier League,” he told reporters. “You have to be 90-100 to play at the level that we need to play in this league. There’s still 48 hours, and hopefully everybody will recover well and we’ll assess them.”

Given that William Saliba has been a regular starter for Arsenal in the Premier League this season, if he is deemed fit, it is reasonable to assume that he will start in the match against Crystal Palace. It is likely that he will partner with Gabriel Magalhaes in the center of defense, despite Gabriel playing a full 120 minutes just three days prior.

“We will have to see,” Arteta added when asked if he is planning to rotate his team following a big effort against Sporting CP. “A lot of players played 120 minutes that we didn’t want to do especially with the minutes that some players have played. We will see who’s available in what condition and put the best team to win the game.

On the other hand, if Mikel Arteta decides that it’s not worth the risk to play William Saliba, he could be one of the four senior players – along with Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah, Tomiyasu, and Karl Hein – to miss the Crystal Palace game, following Premier League rules for a 20-man matchday squad.

In this scenario, Rob Holding, who replaced Saliba in the Sporting CP game, would likely start his first Premier League game of the season.

This would leave Arsenal with only 19 senior players available for selection, which would likely result in a call-up for an academy prospect.

Considering that William Saliba is a defender, Mikel Arteta might consider including academy prospects Zach Awe or Reuell Walters in the matchday squad for added defensive cover alongside Kieran Tierney and Jakub Kiwior. Alternatively, he could take a more daring approach and include another attacking player such as Amario Cozier-Duberry once again.

Mikel Arteta has two options for William Saliba with Arsenal stars to miss Crystal Palace clash

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