St Etienne captain Mathieu Debuchy has insisted that William Saliba "will be welcome" if the defender returns to the club after being unable to break in the Arsenal first team.
Saliba was expected to feature for the Gunners this season after he was signed for £27m in 2019 and loaned back to St Etienne.
However, the youngster is yet to make his senior debut and has instead featured for the under-23s.
St Etienne did attempt to bring him back on another loan deal late on in the summer transfer window but the move failed to materialise before the deadline.
Claude Puel's side have lost their last seven Ligue 1 games and are missing both Saliba and Wesley Fofana, who joined Leicester, at the back.
Speaking to Telefoot, Debuchy spoke about the need for January reinforcements and a potential return for Saliba, saying: "I’m sure in the current state we need two or three players to complete this squad.
"Whether it is in defence and perhaps also in attack. I trust the coach to provide these solutions. William… we know his qualities. He was very impressive at Saint Etienne.
"Unfortunately for him at Arsenal the start didn’t go the way he wanted it to, I think. There is William, there is Wesley [Fofana], these are two defenders who left us and who did incredibly well so it was loss.
"If William wants to come back this winter he will be welcome and he will have the advantage of knowing the team."
St Etienne boss Puel hit out at Arsenal's treatment of Saliba last month, questioning why he was left out of their Europa League squad and expressing his frustration at the failure to bring him back to France on loan.
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Speaking to L'Equipe, Puel said: "It was short-term [thinking], even for the kids. 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.
"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."