By Frank McAvennie

23rd Apr, 2023 | 10:04am

William Saliba to miss Man City showdown after Arsenal update- pundit

Frank McAvennie has insisted William Saliba won’t be allowed to return to the Arsenal starting XI.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former West Ham striker hailed Saliba’s desire to return to the team for the final games of the season but said that Mikel Arteta won’t sign off on a return unless he is completely ready.

The 22-year-old has been sidelined for four weeks after he limped off during the Gunners’ Europa League clash on 16 March.

According to the Daily Mail (18 April), the defender is willing to put his body on the line to play in the league leaders’ title run-in, despite the possibility of injury complications if he is rushed back.

The France international was left out of the squad for the 3-3 draw with Southampton on Friday (21 April) and it’s unclear if he will be fit for the all important clash against Man City on Wednesday (26 April).

McAvennie is impressed by Saliba’s attitude.

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Maybe he thinks he can be the difference, but the manager will know what he is doing,” he told Football Insider.

“If the injury is going to get worse by playing, then he won’t be playing, but there are some injuries that don’t get worse even if you play on them.

But Saliba gets a lot of credit from me for his attitude, I think it is great that he wants to play. I always say players do not do that enough so fair play to him.

It really depends on the injury, the manager will have the final say and if the doctor says no he will not do it. I would not want him to play through the pain barrier if it is going to be worse in the long run.

In other news, Arsenal in pole position to complete England international signing – £83m offer revealed