When William Saliba found the top corner with the sweetest of left foot strikes against Bournemouth, Oleksandr Zinchenko couldn’t believe what he’d seen.
As the Frenchman raced to the corner flag to celebrate, the Ukraine international just dropped to his knees and put his hands on his head in wonder. His look said it all, ‘How on earth did he do that?’
After the 3-0 win, the Ukraine international was full of praise for the 21-year-old, who not only left the Vitality Stadium with his first Arsenal goal and another clean sheet but also a brand new chant.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) August 20, 2022
“He’s incredible,” Zinchenko told Arsenal.com. “It looks like this guy has got a lot of experience in his bag, but he’s still so young. Fingers crossed, we’ve got an unbelievable centre-back.
“He’s such a nice guy and he deserves this. A massive thanks to our fans as well, they did unbelievably well during all the games and they helped us a lot and of course, William deserves that song.
“If we’re going to get a clean sheet every single game, they’re going to sing every time!”
Manager Mikel Arteta was similarly enthused by Saliba’s surprising contribution in attack.
“We’ve been training that all week,” he joked in his post-game press conference.
“It very much surprised me. Individual talent, a moment of quality – I don’t know how you’re going to call it but I don’t think anybody expected it and it was great. I’m so happy for the boy.
He added: “He got a clean sheet as well, which is the most important thing for a defender. If you score a goal, that’s a bonus but they’re doing what they need to do, to keep that clean sheet every game.”