Arsenal technical director Edu has said that the club “need to talk” to William Saliba regarding the young centre-back's future, whilst also admitting that the Gunners are missing a creative spark in the middle of the field.
Saliba signed for Arsenal 18 months ago and was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the season, with the 19-year-old having been tipped to play a key role for his new club in the 2020-21 campaign.
Things have not gone to plan for the Bondy-born defender, however, with the France Under-20 starlet still to make a competitive appearance for Mikel Arteta's struggling side.
Indeed, Saliba recently commented that he has been “locked up” behind the scenes at the Emirates, while Arteta claimed that the centre-half's future would be “decided soon”.
And Edu has now admitted that the situation needs to be resolved, telling an Arsenal fan forum: “Maybe he needs a little more time.
“He's a bright talent. We need to talk with him and Mikel to plan for next year.”
Arsenal's struggles on the pitch this season are well documented and were further highlighted in their shock 1-0 loss to Burnley last time out.
An inability to create chances and score goals have some wondering whether Arteta is the right man to lead the club, with the Spaniard having left Mesut Ozil out of the squad entirely for at least the first half of the season.
The door appears to have been opened for a January return for Ozil, however, and Edu admits that the club are in dire need of a creative presence in the centre of the pitch.
“It’s quite clear what we need,” he said. “We need a player with creativity in the middle, we don’t have that in the squad right now.
“As a Brazilian, I’m very open. I’m not scared to say things. We are not comfortable in this situation we’re in. Every single club has problems.”
On a potential rift between Arteta and his players, Edu added: “The stories about a split between the players and Arteta are not true. Stories about players not believing and not trusting Mikel are not true.”