MIKEL ARTETA has confirmed that centre-back William Saliba will remain out of action for the visit of Southampton.

The Frenchman could also miss a large part of Arsenal's Premier League title run in.

Mikel Arteta admitted that he is unsure if Saliba will feature again this season, which would come as a huge blow.

And that would mean the 22-year-old would miss the Gunners' huge make-or-break clash with Manchester City next week.

This season has been Saliba's breakthrough season at the Emirates starting every game up until his injury.

Why isn't William Saliba playing for Arsenal against Southampton?

Saliba was injured during the Gunners' Europa League exit at the hands of Sporting Lisbon last month.


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The Frenchman injured his back and has been out of action ever since.

In Mikel Arteta's pre-match press conference ahead of the Southampton game, he said: "The picture hasn’t changed from last week.

"Regarding William, we still have to wait a little bit more. 

“He’s not progressing as quickly as we hoped and it is a bit delicate so we want to be certain that when we push him, he’s ready to absorb the load and the risk that we’ll take, and that’s not possible at the moment.”

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When asked if Saliba will feature in any of Arsenal's final seven games, Arteta said: “I don’t know, it’s a bit early to know. Probably next week we’ll have more certainty. 

“There is some evolution, he’s doing more activity but is not there yet to start to throw him into the pitch at the level the sessions demand to compete in this league.”

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