Mikel Arteta has revealed that William Saliba is likely to leave Arsenal on loan next month, a decision which ultimately meant he played no part in the Manchester City defeat.
Saliba, 19, arrived at the Emirates with high expectations in the summer but has failed to settle in north London and is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.
Former club Saint-Etienne have been linked, having attempted to bring him back on loan over the summer, while clubs in England have also been credited with interest.
Following Tuesday night's 4-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat by City, questions were raised over the young defender's absence – despite being eligible to play.
Arteta explained: "He cannot be involved because he's not in the squad.
"We made that decision with him and we'll see what we're going to do in January. We are talking about it [loan move] yes."
It is understood that Saliba would prefer to remain in England and prove his worth to his boss.
The player is hopeful that some regular game time in the UK will ensure he is ready to feature for Arsenal next season.
As well as Saliba's uncertain future, Arteta also faced questions over his own future following their latest defeat on Tuesday.
The Gunners were outclassed by Manchester City, who reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Arteta has not seen his side win a domestic game since November 1 but he opted to make eight changes to the team that lost at Everton on Saturday.
Arteta defended his team selection following a tough period of games and a tricky festive fixture list ahead.
"It was a combination of the amount of games that some of them have played, some players could not be involved, and others deserved to play," he said.
"It is a painful moment again, we started the game and conceded a soft goal really early. After that in this moment, to get over that is difficult."
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