Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he made a mistake by leaving William Saliba out of his 25-man squad for the Europa League.
The Spanish manager only has Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes as fit and available centre-backs ahead of the game against Dundalk, with David Luiz joining Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari on the sidelines.
Fellow central defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Saliba are fit but neither can be called upon after being excluded from Arsenal’s European squad, and in the case of the latter Arteta admits he is an option he would like to have had available.
I feel really bad for William Saliba,’ Arteta said. ‘Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.
‘I was hoping that Pablo would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don’t have Pablo and we don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play.’ Arteta said.
Saliba joined Arsenal from St Etienne last summer but is yet to feature for the Gunners, appearing on the bench just once this season.