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Saliba sent off in Arsenal U21 match as centre-back’s miserable spell continues

William Saliba’s miserable time at Arsenal continued on Tuesday as he was sent off in an Under-21 match against AFC Wimbledon.

Big things were expected of the 19-year-old when he made his long-awaited move to the club in the summer after spending last season on loan at Saint-Etienne.

But he is yet to play a minute this season under Mikel Arteta, who clearly still does not believe he is ready for senior football.

Saliba has instead been featuring largely for the U21 team, but he had a night to forget after being dismissed in the second half of the Papa John’s Trophy game against Wimbledon on Tuesday after receiving what seemed to be a harsh second yellow for a high tackle.

The referee adjudged William Saliba’s tackle to be worthy of a second yellow card

It is believed Arteta wanted to send Saliba out for another loan before the close of the transfer window, but will instead attempt to do so in January so the player can gain valuable first-team minutes.

Arsenal slumped to a 3-0 loss in the game against Wimbledon, but some more positive news for Gunners fans is the return of forward Gabriel Martinelli to action.

The Brazilian sensation, 19, burst onto the scene for the Gunners last season as he became the first teenager since Nicolas Anelka to more than 10 goals for the club in a single season.

He committed his long-term future to the club with a new deal in July but was ruled out for the remainder of the year shortly afterwards having undergone knee surgery.

Saliba was far from impressed with the decision

With Arteta’s side struggling for goals, Martinelli has recovered ahead of schedule and been back in full training in recent weeks.

He started the game before being substituted at half-time in what appeared a planned move as he builds up to match fitness.

It remains to be seen when he will be able to return to first-team action, but it will come as a huge boost for the Gunners when he does.




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