Granit Xhaka has come out to defend Arsenal teammate William Saliba after his own goal against Leicester on Saturday.
The Frenchman has played every minute of our campaign thus far, despite the fact that he had never featured for our senior side in any of the three previous years since he signed for the club from St Etienne.
Saliba has come in for plaudits from a numerous sources since making his mark in our first-team however, and is playing with a maturity beyond his 21 years at present.
The defender was credited with an own goal in his second outing however, something that may or may not have been down to his lack of experience at the top level, but our former captain Xhaka insists his overall performae was ‘unbelievable’.
“This is football,” Xhaka told the Standard. “People only see the own goal but maybe, hopefully, they’ll see what a game he had. This guy is 21. I think in his first game in the Premier League for Arsenal, he was unbelievable.
“You can see how… he looks like he is 30. He has discipline and big character. He is not so loud but he is a proper leader in my eyes. You can see he is amazing. He has a lot of quality and yeah, we forget the own goal because for 90 minutes he had a great, great game.”
While it would easy to concentrate on the negative, William clearly didn’t allow the incident to get to him as he stayed focused and assured at the back for the remainder of the match, highlighting just how strong mentally our young defender is.
Saliba isn’t just one for the future, but is every bit ready for the now, and I don’t expect him to come out of the starting line-up regardless of who is back to full fitness.