Saturday, September 30, 2023

Petit Is Full Of Praise For This Arsenal Defender: Does He Have A Bright Future In North London?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Le Progrès (via But! Football Club), Emmanuel Petit was full of praise for Arsenal defender William Saliba. Petit was quite positive about the French centre-back and said,

“He’s one of the best in England at centre-back. He’s a stalwart. He has a lot of composure and personality on the pitch. He’s improved his communication, his reading of the game and his management of what’s behind him. He relied a bit on his strength and speed, but now, he’s adapted to the demands of English football.”

Saliba’s Good Form In North London This Season

Saliba has enjoyed a decent run of form at Arsenal this season as he has put in a few dominant displays for them on the defensive third of the pitch. The 22-year-old has featured in five matches for the North London club during this campaign, securing one assists across all fronts.

Saliba has been a rock at the back for Mikel Arteta’s side and deserves credit for averaging 1.5 interceptions, 3.0 clearances and 0.5 key passes per 90 minutes in Premier League football. He has even been excellent when distributing possession from inside his half after making 95.1% of his attempted passes in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

France’s defender William Saliba arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on September 4, 2023 as part of the team’s preparation for upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament qualifying matches. France will play against Ireland on September 7, 2023, in the Group B of Euro 2024 qualifiers. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Does Saliba Have A Bright Future At Arsenal?

Saliba can scan the danger quickly to earn the ball back for his side at the back and doesn’t hesitate to put his foot through the ball when required. The French talent is an excellent passer of the ball and can set up some decent plays for his teammates from the back.

Saliba is under contract at the Emirates Stadium until the summer of 2027. Arteta would try to get the best out of him in the coming seasons as the North London club look to end their long wait for the Premier League title.

At 22, Saliba has got a very promising future at Arsenal. Petit’s words of encouragement is justified as the player has proven himself to be one of the most important assets in Arteta’s squad. He is more than capable of helping the London club compete for some major honours in the not-too-distant future.

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