Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has sent a firm message to William Saliba and his fellow other Arsenal youngsters to “be patient” over their future at the club.
The 19-year-old is growing restless at his lack of chances at Arsenal following his £27million transfer.
Mikel Arteta has so far refused to pick Saliba in any of his squads, instead insisting the centre-back needs a “transition year” out on loan.
The January transfer window offers an ideal opportunity for the Gunners to send Saliba out on loan, but the Frenchman has already become disgruntled at his situation at the club.
Now Gunners captain Aubameyang has sent a clear message to Saliba and any other emerging talents about how to conduct themselves.
“When you are a young player trying to come through at a club like Arsenal then for sure there’s a lot of pressure,” Aubameyang told AFP via France24 .
“You have to be patient too because we have great players who are playing in the first team so it’s always hard to find your way through.
“I remember when I was playing at AC Milan (2008-11) it was always really, really difficult to get into the first team, so I know that type of feeling.”
Saliba admitted to exiled Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi – who is now on loan at Hertha Berlin – that he felt “locked up” at Arsenal in a similar fashion to his old teammate did.
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Other youngsters in Arteta’s ranks are also beginning to kick their heels, including Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun.
Concerns over playing time is the sole reason behind Balogun’s reluctance so far to agree a new contract, with just six months left to run on his current deal.
But Aubameyang is in no two minds about where the best place is for these academy stars to learn their trade and bide their time.
“With the Europa League this season, there have been maybe more opportunities for the young guys to get minutes,” he said.
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“We saw a few young players in our last European game and we also have them joining in with training quite a lot lately.
“For them it is not easy, but when you get the chance you have to take it and I think they are doing well when they have had the chance so far.
“You can see that the young lads always perform when they come in because the coaches are doing great work with them to get them ready for the games.
“The rest is down to them.”