Mikel Arteta has revealed that he thinks French defender William Saliba ‘looked ready’ for top flight football following his performance against Chelsea in Orlando.
21-year-old Saliba played 90 minutes as he and Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners over Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea following goals from Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Sambi Lokonga in their final pre-season game ahead of the beginning of the Premier League in a fortnight.
With Takehiro Tomiyasu’s current injury woes, Ben White was fielded at right-back, meaning that Saliba was handed another chance to impress in the heart of defence.
The Frenchman is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners, having spent 3 seasons on loan in Ligue 1, but impressed at Marseilles last season, winning the young player of the year in Ligue 1 for his efforts.
And, he seems set to start against Crystal Palace should Tomiyasu not return to fitness, with Arteta now pleased with his former loanee.
“I’m really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21-years-old, carry on doing it”, the Spaniard said after the victory. “He has a huge potential, he is already a top player. He looked ready to me today.”
What next for Arsenal?
Arsenal’s transfer window is far from over, but departures are desperately needed in north London before they can add more signings.
“We have to”, the Arsenal boss explained. “We have a big squad and now we have to make things happen. We have to make some decisions on the players that we’re not going to be using consistently and be fair with them. That’s a process that is going to start very soon.”
For a detailed discussion on who may depart, 101 covered that here.
But, in short, the Gunners are still keen to recruit both a midfielder and a right-winger this summer ahead of the deadline at the beginning of September.
Mikel Arteta provides update on key Arsenal duo