Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to see William Saliba stay at Saint-Etienne as he believes the teenager has earned the right to play in the Coupe de France final.
The Gunners signed the 19-year-old last summer but sent him back on loan to St. Etienne, and he was set to join his new club at the end of the 2019/20 season.
There have been no games in France since the beginning of March but Saint-Etienne will meet Paris Saint-Germain in the French cup final on July 24.
Now, Arteta believes Saliba should stay for the game.
"I think he needs to stay there," he said when asked about Saliba's immediate future.
"We've got an agreement with Saint-Etienne, he's been over there all year. He has earned the right to play in that final if the manager (Claude Puel) wants to do that.
"I think we have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that and we can have him after that."
While he has remained in France since signing for Arsenal under previous head coach Unai Emery, Arteta revealed he has met up with Saliba on a number of occasions and admits he knows there will be pressure on the Frenchman to hit the ground running next year.
"I spoke with him a few times," Arteta added.
"He has been around a few times here as well. We have been following his season. As a young player, he had a difficult season with injuries that he had but it is part of his process.
"I know how high the expectations are on him for next year but we have to bear in mind the age that he's at and what he has done in the past, and make sure we create the right environment for him so he can keep going as a player."
Arsenal faces Premier League bottom side Norwich on tomorrow night in their first home game since the season restarted.