Arsenal have been slammed by Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel after the French side missed out on re-signing Gunners defender William Saliba on loan.

Saliba is yet to make a competitive appearance for Arsenal this season, with the likes of Rob Holding, David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes favoured at centre-back.

As a result, the 19-year-old nearly left the Emirates on loan and a return to Saint-Etienne was close but fell through late on in the window.

Saliba has also been left out of Arsenal's squad for the Europa League and Puel has questioned why Arsenal signed the youngster if they are not going to let him play, either at the Emirates or out on loan.

Arsenal defender William Saliba is yet to make his debut for the Gunners

Speaking to L'Equipe, Puel said: "It was short-term [thinking], even for a young player. A superb player like William, to whom I wish the best, has not even made it to Arsenal’s Europa League squad.

"Where is the logic, if not financial? He had a great desire to join us. The club are a bit like family and friends [to him]. His adaptation would have been instant.

Saint-Etienne boss Claude Puel has questioned why Saliba is not playing for Arsenal

"This would have happened if all the conditions had met. It had to remain consistent with our finances and his contract, particularly for the management."

Speaking earlier this month, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta explained that Saliba's absence was down to his lack of competitive football after the French season was curtailed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"He had a year last year where Arsenal loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him," Arteta said.

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"For many reasons, that wasn't the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal issues and also with Covid and the French league getting cancelled, he didn't have that year.

"He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year to have the player we want in our future."