Arteta keeping close eye on Arsenal loanees William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos


Arteta keeping close eye on Arsenal loanees William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos

Arteta feels Nketiah guilt

Mikel Arteta spoke to the press ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming match with Burnley and revealed that he feels an element of guilt regarding the lack of opportunities which have been available recently to England youth international Eddie Nketiah.

Nketiah had been a regular feature for Mikel Arteta this season, mainly as a substitute. However, in recent weeks, he has failed to make the matchday squad even with the bench being extended to allow for 9 substitute options.

Arteta said that none of the reasons behind his absence have been down to his professionalism or performance but purely the competition for places in the team.

“When we were talking about management this is one of the hardest decisions for me to leave someone like Eddie out of the squad. At the moment everybody is fit and we have so many options up front,” said Arteta.

Arteta keeping close eye on Arsenal loanees William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal leaves the pitch following being shown a red card after a VAR decision during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on July 07, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“It hurts as well because of how Eddie behaves, how Eddie trains every day, and because he’s a player from our academy. He will have his chance, he needs to be patient. He is showing no signs of lacking attitude or something like that it’s completely the opposite.”

“He is a joy to work with and he deserves minutes, and if he doesn’t get it it’s just my fault.”

With the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to decent form and Alexandre Lacazette also scoring, the possibility for Nketiah to get minutes is, unsurprisingly, slim. With a only year left on his  current deal after this season, it is not beyond reason that he could look to leave Arsenal in the summer in search of regular game time.

Saliba & Mavropanos

What was most interesting in the press conference was the Spanish coach explaining that both he and the club were keeping close tabs on William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos, who have left the club on loan.

The Greek defender joined Stuttgart at the beginning of the season whereas the Frenchman left Arsenal in January having experienced a tricky six months at the club.

Arteta was asked about the pair and spoke of the close attention he and his team are paying to them.

“We are having meetings very often to assess what they are doing. Obviously, we are getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they are doing. We were talking yesterday with our loans manager Ben Knapper, who is in charge of monitoring everything that we are doing,” he said.

Arteta keeping close eye on Arsenal loanees William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos

LIEGE, BELGIUM – DECEMBER 12: Konstantinos Mavropanos of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Standard Liege and Arsenal FC at Stade Maurice Dufrasne on December 12, 2019 in Liege, Belgium. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“We are in contact with the players and let’s see. It’s good news that they’re playing and good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes, because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”

With David Luiz having his contract expire at the end of the season and Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis already having left, there is an opportunity for a right-sided centre-back to come in and promote themselves to the first team squad.

Either one of Saliba or Mavropanos have the chance to claim this with solid performances whilst away from the club.

Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos is back fit and playing for Stuttgart

Former Arsenal recruitment specialist Sven Mislintat has Stuttgart contract extended after overseeing fantastic squad construction and league competitiveness

This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.

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Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 7