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Arsenal fear William Saliba’s season could be over, Maitland-Niles set to leave at the end of the season

Arsenal could be without France international centre-back William Saliba for the rest of the season, reports The Athletic.

The 22-year-old has been out of action since last month but was tipped to return before the end of the campaign.

Saliba picked up a knock in the second leg of the Europa League last-16 against Sporting Lisbon.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta recently confirmed that the defender could be out for longer than expected.

However, the club were hopeful he could still be passed fit for Wednesday’s game against Manchester City.

Unfortunately for the league leaders, Saliba will not be available for that crucial match following recent assessments.

He is also expected to miss the game against Chelsea having failed to show sufficient progress.

Arsenal hold a slim five-point lead over Man City but have played two more games.

They have drawn their last three league games, with Saliba’s absence contributing to their woeful run.

Being without him for the next two games would be a huge blow, and they will hope he returns sooner rather than later.

Arsenal are also set to be without one of their defenders after the end of the season.

The Gunners have decided against triggering an option in the contract of Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a further year.

The 25-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Southampton, and while they have the option to buy him at the end of this season, Arsenal’s decision to release him has voided the clause.

Maitland-Niles joined the north London club as a six-year-old and made his debut in 2014.

The versatile Englishman has since made 132 appearances, scoring three goals.

He spent time on loan with West Bromwich Albion and AS Roma in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.

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