William Saliba “out for several weeks” with back problem

Arsenal and France central defender William Saliba will be out for “several weeks,” according to L’Équipe, owing to a back problem suffered on Thursday night during Arsenal’s Europa League 2nd leg knockout clash with Sporting Portugal.

The 21-year-old, who was selected by Didier Deschamps for the March international break EURO 2024 qualifying matches vs Ireland and the Netherlands, will withdraw from international duty as a result. RMC report that Deschamps is considering selecting either OGC Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo or Monaco’s centre-back Axel Disasi to replace the St Étienne youth product, in a decision that is expected to be made and publicised within the next 48 hours.

L’Équipe add that Chelsea defender Benoît Badiashile is also an option – he is currently selected with the France U21s but could see himself promoted.

Saliba’s injury – which has yet to be communicated by his Premier League title-chasing club Arsenal – is expected to be a real blow in the Gunners’ efforts to win the English 1st division this season.

James Thorpe | GFFN

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