Arteta: Saliba will be really important for Arsenal’s future

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With every new season, it’s understandable that fans are extra keen to watch the latest signings in action. Much has been spoken about impressive debuts by Willian and Gabriel but we have yet to see towering centre back, William Saliba, in a competitive match.

Expectations are high because of the £28m we paid Saint-Etienne, as well as the fact fans have waited over a year to watch the promising youngster in Arsenal colours.

In the press conference leading up to Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game against Leicester City, Arteta was quick to stress that what happens in the short-term is no reflection on the 19 year old.

“I think William is doing really well, adapting to the country, adapting to our club, and we have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that that he had,” said Arteta.

“He is going to be really important in our future and things sometimes take some time. And we have to respect that.”

Saliba has time on his side, and time away from the limelight might be well spent learning from some of the experienced heads in the first team. David Luiz, for one, is seen as a mentor for many of the younger players in the squad, the young Frenchman included.

“I think David is a really good role model for them –  for who David is as a person and as a player and everything that he has achieved in the game.

“I think they are lucky to have him around,” claimed Arteta.

Much has been said about Luiz’s leadership qualities and we can only hope that any wisdom shared can help Saliba settle much more quickly on and off the pitch.

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C.B.

Good news, here’s to him coming through and being a legend for us over many years. He has the potential, hope it works out!

TorontoGunner

Why didn’t we just recall him earlier if he was injured for so long lll I get it but my mans didn’t play as many matches, didn’t get a chance to play the final. Would’ve been better had he just stayed with us last year smh just Arsenals luck eh

Daveo

He spent quite a bit of time last year with the arsenal medical team did he not? And still got valuable game time with Saint etties

Vonnie

Another young player who, like Kieran Tierey, came to us with injury problems. It’s going to take a bit of time for him to get up to speed.

AussieGooner

Thank you for that. I was reading this in a very pessimistic mood. He wasn’t cheap, half a Partey, and I got it in my head that we might have committed a blunder of epic scale.

But yes, I guess Tierney could have looked very similar 12 months ago.

My hope restored! Cheers.

Blogs maybe should adopt Saliba too, it would be good for him to have a brother, plus two kids around the house might help with the chores around Blog Towers.

Matthinc

It still might end up a massive blunder. 30 odd million on an 18 yo defender is a big old gamble, and he’s obviously not the finished article. Can’t help but wonder in Raul might have had his fingers in this pot as well?

I take it this means he’ll start against Leicester?

Lex

Why are fans so damn impatient! The kid is only 19 playing in the hardest league and the hardest position in the game right now. He will need at least a year to settle. That big frame of his gonna need time to adapt to the rigors of the league.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Because fans see the Chelsea’s and Man United’s spending 200 million to win NOW and that’s something Arsenal have never done and will never do. Unfortunately some fans still expect an instant return on what is seen as a hefty investment.

Alex Davis

Both those 2 mentioned have spend millions on defense alone. Bar thiago (he came free) and maybe Reece James, would you dear take any of their lot in your defense? I see huge potential in saliba and gabriel. Holding and Mari might not be so shabby as back up, plus luiz.

Biggles

Yes, that’s true. It’s also general frustration at the decline we’ve had to put up with for ten years or so in relation to other so called “top clubs”. Some FA Cup wins, welcome though they certainly were, don’t make up for the lack of a PL title or, more recently, CL football – and last season, we were only an FA Cup final away from no European football at all! As you say we can’t, and never will, compete financially (with the current owner, anyway) with the usual suspects so expenditure of scarcer resources adds pressure for the player(s)… Read more »

Santori

Lots paid for a young player with relatively little feature considering. Hope he can step up for us this season. Again more on the business end, I mentioned last summer the Pepe and Saliba deal although creative on part of Sanlehi also carried massive risk for us. As it turned out Saliba was not even available to us last season… BUT if we did not make CL, the cost ongoing on Pepe and Saliba will weigh on our transfer business this summer. This is something not picked up or understood by media who keep peddling how selling on Martinez means… Read more »