Friday, June 14, 2024

“I came back here to win” – Saliba buoyed by Arsenal start

If William Saliba didn’t sound too convinced about returning to Arsenal in the summer, he seems to have changed his tune.

After plenty of playing time in pre-season the France international has hit the ground running in the Premier League, starting all seven matches in the centre of defence for Mikel Arteta’s table toppers.

He’s helped the Gunners to three clean sheets, scored a couple of tidy goals and played with a confidence befitting a man of far more experience.

The fans love him, the manager loves him, his teammates love him and even rival managers have felt compelled to laud him with praise.

Having been frustrated at the delay to his Arsenal career, he now realises the roundabout journey was worth it.

“I came back here to win so it’s nice to start the season well,” he told Canal+ (translated by Sport Witness).

“We had a very good start to the season until the match against Manchester [United], but we are still first.

“From a personal point of view, it was better for me to go on loan to play, make mistakes, learn. I came back stronger and with new ambitions.

“These experiences proved to me that football is complicated, but that you should never give up and believe in yourself.”

With the World Cup just a couple of months away, Saliba, who is on international duty with France, now has his sights set on making the plane for Qatar.

“The World Cup is a dream,” he said. “When you are called for the first time, you have only one desire, it is to be there at each gathering. Honouring your country is something incredible.

“Afterwards, it doesn’t just depend on me, but by performing well at Arsenal, I have a chance of being there even if that doesn’t guarantee anything. There are a lot of defenders in this country. In any case, I will do everything to be there”

France face Austria tonight before taking on Denmark on Sunday. Assuming he comes through unscathed, Saliba will then get the chance to experience a north London derby.

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Eric Blair

He seems to have ‘it’, doesn’t he? Apart from his obvious ability, a kind of aura that inspires his teammates and intimidates opponents, that ‘je ne sais quoi’. But I won’t get too attached until he’s signed that new contract!


Do do do do do dododo
Do do do do do dodo….


And a tequila shot each time the crowd chants “Saliba”…


I like the idea. Anyone got a spare liver I can borrow for Arsenal matches?


Alright, Del Boy.

Clock end 20

A superstar in the making! Absolutely love this boy.


Gone through some tough things in recent years (losing his mother and some say his father too), out on loan rather than staying at Arsenal so has come through strong. Would love him to sign up and be with us for the next 10-15 years.

Giuseppe Hovno

15 years isn’t enough. I say if he signs anything less than a 20 year contract extension, it’s a disgrace and heads must roll from those in charge at the top of this club


Glad he seems settled, now get his contract extended as soon as possible!!

Johnny 4 Hats

The full quote was actually:

“I came here to do two things – win trophies and go to Madame Tussauds. And I’ve seen all those waxy bastards”.


Glad to hear he now understands the importance of the loans he went through.
If Deschamps keeps playing 3 at the back, he will compete with Kounde and Kimpembe a starter for France alongside Varane and a left-footed player, so he has a chance.
I wish we could extend him before the WC though, just in case he has a brilliant tournament.


I meant Kounde and Upamecano, sorry. Kimpembe, if fit, will likely fight for LCB with Hernandez.


My wife, she has been most vocal on the subject of “Da Ting”. So please – “Sign Da Ting!”


She has been DaTing? Doesn’t sound good for you…


she is always asking “have you signed this ting yet, and where is the signed ting, and so on”
so please, da ting


I have a feeling he will run down his contract unfortunately. Could become a great and Arsenal legend but…..

Boy Bastin

I hope not! There doesn’t seem to be any indication (that I’ve seen) that he’s looking for a move away. His experience since re-joining the club has been very positive so I’m not sure what you’re basing your pessimistic view on.

Santi's Thigh Grab

We have no idea what his career plans are, he’s never disclosed that information. If he doesn’t resign after the world cup, he could easily run down his contract as he would only have 1.5 years left. Arsenal would be forced to sell him to recoup their investment, if he refuses to sign. Saliba, Martinelli, and Saka are three players we need to resign. I’m not worried about Martinelli or Saka resigning but Saliba causes some level of worry as time goes along.

Boy Bastin

True, but few players say what their career plans are (certainly not in any detail). The absence of information about career plans isn’t proof that there’s something afoot.

We’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m not getting worried about it until I see some evidence to get worried about!


Resign or re-sign? Big difference.


I hope he’s with us for the next 10 years but our experience as Arsenal fans, points to me original down beat view and thumb me down all you like, it’s a real possibility.

Boy Bastin

Yes, it’s a “possibility”. Any player can leave any club (even if they’ve signed a contract). At the moment though, we’re talking about “probability” and in the absence to any information to the contrary, I think my original comment to Santi’s Thigh Grab remains valid.


That’s where Edu and Vinai earn their bread. Offer him a good deal and he stays on. If he refuses it, sell and replace. No more cancellation of contracts to facilitate poor Barcelona to gain a player for free


there is literally no downside as he would likely command a world record transfer fee

Boy Bastin

Nice and positive. He’s clearly made a very good start with us so let’s hope he returns from the break (and then the World Cup, assuming he makes the squad) uninjured and can go on to greater things with Arsenal.

Man Manny

The greatest achievement Arteta and Edu have made in Arsenal is the team spirit they have created. It is impossible to not feel the genuine vibes when players speak to the press. They all have one goal: to win for the club. There is a hunger to contribute for the common good. That is an intangible factor that could be worth as many as 10 points on its own. I saw it in Liverpool on their march to the CL and EPL.
We are on the cusp of something big!

Boy Bastin

Yes. We have to remember though that our young team is still very much “work in progress”. We’ve seen the best of the team spirit that you rightly mention (the Brentford win, for example), but we’ve also seen their relative inexperience (the Utd defeat). All things being equal, they’ll address the latter of course, but I think that for the moment points gained through team spirit may be somewhat balanced out through others lost because of the on-going learning process. Like you though, I’ve a feeling that we could really see something in the coming seasons.

Naked Cygan

Right now apart from that bolex Man/VAR utd result everything is going great for us. The key to our success, especially from these young players is how fast we can recover when things are not going well. The performance against Brentford was a great response. Probably one of our best performance for a while against a solid team.

It Is What It Is

What he needs is a generational covenant with us.


He has an aura in him that I did not see or sense in any Arsenal defender since Tony Adams.


Things looking great but he’s only played 7 games.

Once upon a time there was a promising, athletic, reliable French international centre half called Squilachi.

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