What does the immediate future hold for Saliba?



William Saliba was signed last summer after much negotiations and transfer tussles with Tottenham Hotspur. Many argued that the €30m outlay for a teenage defender who would only join after another season was not the best move, especially as Arsenal needed immediate defensive cover.

This season though, William Saliba has to an extent changed the minds of many who thought so of him, with his rugged defensive diligence endearing him to the hearts of viewers, the statistics tell the whole story. Saint-Ettienne have kept clean sheets in 70% of matches Saliba has played, as opposed to the 20% ratio they have recorded in his absence.

The question begs to be asked though, can William Saliba walk straight into this Arsenal team? Does he currently represent an instant upgrade on our centre back options?

The odd two(2) months ago, this would be a relatively easier question to answer as Arsenal were very defensively careless and open. That is not the case now, the Arsenal defence has been very rejuvenated since the arrival of Mikel Arteta, and have recorded the second highest amount of clean sheets in the league this season.

Former Arsenal player, Mikel Silvestre has declared William Saliba and incumbent starter when he joins the team next season, saying:
"William Saliba will start from the get-go when he joins Arsenal next season. He's currently playing for a struggling Saint-Etienne side, but his performances have been good and he's been consistent"

William Saliba turns 19 today and has so far showing a level of class and maturity today beyond his age so far at Saint-Etienne. Whether it is true or not that he's capable of being a starter at Arsenal right now, one thing is certain, he's the future of this defence and only a matter of time before he becomes a house hold name in it.


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