Mikel Arteta says he has no qualms starting William Saliba in tomorrow’s north London derby.
An ever-present in the league for Arsenal this season, the France international has earned plenty of plaudits for the way he’s adapted to the hustle and bustle of the English game since making his Gunners debut in August.
While, the 21-year-old defender has already faced the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe during his fledgling career, a showdown with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min now pits him against the Premier League’s most prolific double-act.
“This is football,” said Arteta of the challenge lying in wait.
“Willy has shown over the last few months what he’s capable of. That doesn’t mean that that line is always going to be in the same direction but he’s been so good. From my side I have no doubts.”
One thing Saliba will have to look out for is the ‘slippery’ feet of tomorrow’s opponents.
Kane has already registered six goals from penalties against Arsenal over the last few years and the Gunners won’t want to give the England international any more freebies.
“We will be looking at all those things and we have to focus on what we can do on the pitch and let the referee run the game,” noted Arteta.
Sp*rs come into the match knowing a win would carry them above Arsenal into top spot in the table.
Unbeaten on the domestic front this season, Arteta has been impressed by what he’s seen of our neighbours.
“Not only the start [to the season], but the journey they have been on since Antonio joined and how things have changed and the team that he’s building,” noted the boss.
“They have a very clear identity in the way they are playing and it’s been really impressive. We know that both teams expect a really tough match tomorrow.”