Mikel Arteta already has the answer to Arsenal's centre-back crisis ahead of Man United trip

William Saliba has not yet made his debut for Arsenal, but manager Mikel Arteta is facing an injury crisis at centre-back ahead of games against Dundalk and Man United

Mikel Arteta already has the answer to Arsenal's centre-back crisis ahead of Man United trip
Could Mikel Arteta finally hand William Saliba his Arsenal debut?

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is facing somewhat of a defensive crisis ahead of games against Dundalk and Manchester United.

David Luiz will miss Thursday's Europa League match after suffering a muscular injury in the second half of the Gunners' 1-0 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday night.

He joins Rob Holding in the treatment room with the fellow centre-back falling to a hamstring blow ahead of kick-off against Manchester City after the international break which will rule him out for up to three weeks.

With Pablo Mari not yet back in full training, Calum Chambers lacking match sharpness following a long injury layoff, and Sokratis not registered for the Premier League or Europa League, Arteta is running out of centre-back options.

As a result, Shkodran Mustafi - who replaced David Luiz against the Foxes - could now play two games in three days despite only just making his return to action following injury at the weekend.

However, the German may not be needed for two games in quick succession if Arteta listens to a former teammate of William Saliba.

The Frenchman is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners this season, but comments from Harold Moukoudi would suggest the teenager could be the answer to Arteta's growing injury concerns.

"I told him not to worry and to keep working. It will pay off," Moukoudi told ButFootballClub, as per Goal. "With the qualities he has, I am sure he will bounce back.

"He has enormous potential, no one can deny that.

"He has to hang on, take his situation patiently, but he will succeed.

"It's certain."

Saliba is ineligible for the game against Dundalk as he too wasn't registered in the Europa League squad, but will be available to face Man United at the weekend.

Although, Arteta has already admitted it will be a 'transition year' for the young centre back.

"For many reasons, that wasn't the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal injuries and also with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn't have that year," Arteta said. "He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year for him to have the player we want in our future."