It hasn’t taken long for William Saliba to make a big impression on Granit Xhaka.
Even with an own goal to his name, the Frenchman’s performances in the wins against Crystal Palace and Leicester have been promisingly composed and his teammate already believes the Gunners have unearthed a new leader.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Xhaka remarked: “This guy is 21. I think in his first game in the Premier League for Arsenal he was unbelievable.
“You can see how…he looks like he is 30. He has discipline and big character. He is not so loud, but he is a proper leader in my eyes.
“You can see he is amazing. He has a lot of quality and yeah, we forget the own goal because for 90 minutes he had a great, great game.”
Talking of leaders at Arsenal, The Athletic reported earlier in the week that Mikel Arteta has selected Xhaka and Gabriel Jesus to support captain Martin Odegaard as part of a rebooted leadership group.
The decision to once again promote the Swiss to a position of responsibility underlines just how far his reputation has been rehabilitated since he was stripped of the captaincy by Unai Emery in November 2019.