Mikel Arteta opens up on "hurtful" decision and William Saliba regret

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he regrets his “hurtful” decision to leave William Saliba out of his Europa League squad.

The Gunners are suffering something of an injury crisis in defence, with only two centre-backs available to Arteta ahead of Thursday’s clash with Dundalk.

Arsenal have eight registered centre-backs on their books, but only Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes are illegible to feature.

And now Arteta has revealed he wishes he could undo his decision to leave Saliba out in the cold.

“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.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he regrets his “hurtful” decision

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“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.

“But when you make those decisions, you can’t always think about every possible outcome.”

Saliba was left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad

Saliba signed for the Gunners from St Etienne last summer for £27million, but remained with the French club on loan for the season.

Arsenal were hoping to loan the defender to a Championship club in this summer’s transfer window, but were unable to find a suitable club.

Has Mikel Arteta been unfair on William Saliba? Have your say here.

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