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William Saliba will be out for several weeks with back injury

Arsenal defender William Saliba will be out for several weeks after suffering a back injury in their Europa League exit against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.

According to L’Equipe, the Frenchman has been forced to pull out of the France squad for their upcoming European Championship qualifier.

Saliba has started all of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, bagging two goals and an assist. He has helped them keep 11 clean sheets.

The former Saint-Etienne man has won 61% of all his duels in the league. He has come into his own after spending the last three seasons out on loan.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta faced criticism for sending the £27 million signing out on multiple loans. However, the Spaniard has reintegrated Saliba into the team this season.

Saliba’s injury was one of two injuries the Gunners suffered against the Portuguese team. Takehiro Tomiyasu hobbled off in the ninth minute.

The game against Sporting was disappointing as Arsenal crashed out of European competition for the third time under Arteta.

Granit Xhaka gave his side the lead but Pedro Goncalves equalised from over 45 yards after spotting Aaron Ramsdale off his line.

Sporting took the Premier League side to penalties despite going down to ten men. Gabriel Martinelli missed his spot-kick to give Sporting the win.

Arsenal must now focus on their Premier League title chase. They lead the league by five points and could extend that gap when they host Crystal Palace tomorrow.

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