‘We wanted to protect him’ – Huge blow for Arsenal as Arteta admits player may not be back in time for pre-season

Ahead of their final game of the 2022/23 Premier League season, Mikel Arteta will be without seven of his Arsenal stars against Wolves.

It’s another blow for the Spaniard as he looks to end what’s turned into a disappointing season in the best possible way.

In the end, injuries to key players at the worst possible time and a loss of form over a few important matches at the back end of the season, were what, ultimately, allowed Man City to beat the Gunners to the finish line.

Perhaps the worst of all the injuries was the one that saw William Saliba have to leave the match against Sporting early.

arsenal fc v sporting cp round of 16 leg two uefa europa league 1
Saliba was brought off in Arsenal’s Europa League last 16 second leg against Sporting which proved to be his last appearance of the season

The setbacks he’s had ever since have meant that that game was the last that he was involved in this season, and given how well he had been marshalling Arsenal’s back line to that point, his omission can’t be understated.

It soon became clear that even getting the young Frenchman back before the end of the season was going to be a tall order for Arteta and his staff, but the latest news on the player makes for even worse reading for Gunners fans.

“It’s probably too early to say,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference on Friday (quotes obtained by, relating to whether Saliba would make pre-season.

“He’s been evolving in the right way. The last few weeks have been much more positive than the previous two months. We wanted to protect him.

“It was an injury that needed some caring and attention, and we’ve been pretty conservative to give him a chance to have a good pre-season to have a chance to go again next season.”

There’s nothing more that the club could seemingly have done to ensure Saliba could return any quicker, and they will just need to play the waiting game for a bit longer and hope for the best.

The post ‘We wanted to protect him’ – Huge blow for Arsenal as Arteta admits player may not be back in time for pre-season appeared first on CaughtOffside.

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