Arsenal defender Reuell Walters will replace the injured William Saliba for Arsenal’s clash against Crystal Palace, according to reports.
Fresh reports have now suggested that Saliba will be out for ‘several weeks’ due to a back injury, and will miss France’s friendlies against the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland as a result.
The news will come as a major blow to Mikel Arteta who has relied heavily on the 21-year-old this season, after forming a formidable partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes.
As a result, the Gunners boss will have to seek backup, with Walters’ name being thrown into the mix.
According to Instagram account Leaked Lineups, 18-year-old defender Walters will replace Saliba in the Arsenal squad.
Indeed, Arteta called up Walters to first-team training ahead of the game against Crystal Palace following the news regarding Saliba’s injury.
The teenager arrived at the Emirates back in 2020, having previously been enrolled at Tottenham’s youth academy.
He is able to play in all four positions across the back-four, and his versatility could prove useful in the wake of right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu’s injury.
Walters caught Arteta’s eye last summer, becoming the only non-first-team player to be called up to Arsenal’s pre-season tour.
Rob Holding remains the most likely to start on Sunday, having come on for Saliba against Sporting Lisbon.
Whilst Gabriel has become a mainstay within Arteta’s back line. However, Walters could be utilised from the bench.
Discussing the changes to his side ahead of the Crystal Palace game, Arteta said: “Well, we have to see. Obviously, a lot of players played 120 minutes [vs Sporting] that we didn’t want to do, especially with the amount of minutes that some players have played.
“But we will see who is available in which condition and put the best team out there to win.”
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