Is Saliba Arsenal’s biggest success story this season?

Arsenal defender receives huge praise from Premier League manager

An impressive win against Brentford last weekend guaranteed Arsenal’s hold at the top of the Premier League chart for two more weeks.

The Gunners have had a wonderful start to life in the current campaign, in which few have even started whispering, “can Arsenal win the league title?”

Even if that statement doesn’t have a strong foundation right now, one statement which does have a strong base is that the current Arsenal team looks better than the majority of Arsenal teams of the past decade.

Several players have performed exceptionally well this season in the Gunners kit. William Saliba is just one of many names.

The French youngster has already made five appearances for the national side of France. Arsenal’s decision to let him go on loan for three seasons is paying dividends now.

Barring an injury, the 21-year-old will be expected to make the French squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

Mikel Arteta has already heaped praise on the former St. Etienne man, who grew up supporting Arsenal.

After seeing him in flesh last Sunday, it was Brentford’s head coach Thomas Frank’s chance to come up with glowing praises.

After the North London outfit cruised past his team, in which William Saliba kept the in-form Ivan Toney in check, the Danish coach said, “Saliba… Oooof! He’s going to be a full international player for France, I’m sure.”

The 48-year-old continued, “He will be in the starting lineup soon for that National team and that’s a strong national team.”

It’s rare to see a French defender as young as Saliba making a mark in the world’s toughest league. Apart from Wesley Fofana and Jules Kounde, there aren’t any young defenders that come to mind, who are making their presence known in Europe.

We are lucky to have Saliba in our ranks. Lucky to have him as one of the poster boys of the new Arsenal!

Yash Bisht

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29 Comments

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  1. Mikel Arteta will have to focus on his players attitude and
    mind so that nobody gets carried away, also he will have to figure out why these injuries are popping up time after time except for Xhaka who is always fit and raring to go!!
    I just hope Saliba is level headed and strong to cope with
    the inevitable media frenzy of the English press.. The same goes for Ethan Nwanderi, we must not forget he
    needs at least 5 years to develop into a grown man!!

    1. True, that team hug after the first goal celebration with Granit Xhaka barking orders was very welcoming. The young lads needs that and Xhaka lead the way.

  2. I totally disagree that this current players looks better than the majority of the past decade. However they are performing better and at a high level than the previous ones.
    Those past players were underachievers and I think the standard was quite high for them as well when you compare it to this current ones.
    This current players have shown their potential and if continue this way then success is not far away, but they are yet to achieve anything so far. However they deserve all the credit for their hard work and hope they will be consistent with it.

  3. In my opinion, Arsenal’s biggest success story this season is Xhaka. Because he transformed into a highly productive and instrumental part of the team, from being an error-prone left DM in the past and after receiving a series of abuse for several years

    I’m not really surprised by Saliba’s performance because he was one of the most promising young CBs in France, his stature is similar to Van Dijk and his touches are good. I knew that he just needed more experience at that time, which he got by being a regular starter in France for several years

    1. This is a very good point of view.
      Like majority knows how good saliba was and majority saw his potential without kicking a ball for us.
      However xhaka ability was recognized by all the coaches as well even though some fans always question that. Wenger, emery, and Arteta.
      And I wouldn’t blame Wenger for playing him as a DM , my blame would be why not get a natural DM instead of going for someone like him then changed their position to a non suitable roles. We had too many milfieder under wenger for xhaka not to have been moved to that role.
      Wilshere, Ozil, Ramsey, rosicky, Cazorla, were some of xhaka formal team mates then.
      Emery brought in a proper DM in torreira, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for too long.
      Kudos to Arteta for having to make this necessary changes. But all the managers has always recognize him and was never out of favor with anyone of them.
      Xhaka criticism some times are fair but most of them are unfair and unnecessary. He has actually made some errors in past that cost us but he made a lot of positive contributions that many overlooked and only focus the one that cost us.

      1. I think Xhaka’s previous managers watched him play well in deep-midfield area in Bundesliga and thought he could also thrive in that position in EPL. Aside from that, none of his previous managers used their LB and left mezzala interchangeably

        I agree that Arteta and his coaches had big roles in Xhaka’s transformation. I bet Xhaka’s previous managers knew he had always produced the most forward passes, had the highest work rate and was the most injury-free in their squads, but they just didn’t know how to maximize Xhaka’s strengths

  4. I’m a big fan but early days. Let’s not overate him the way we have so many of last year’s buys. He will prove himself over the next month and at the world cup.

  5. We all trolled Arteta for leaving Saliba on loan while spending 50m quid on White.
    Now, the man seems to be hugely vindicated, and I’m happy for him.
    The biggest success now will be to tie Saliba down to a new deal because there’s still a lot of football to come from the young Frenchman

    1. How is he vindicated?
      I honestly believe with him last season we would have sealed top 4 and he will also play alot of games looking at the number of times we missed players through injury, it’s down to saliba for making the maximum use of his loan and his success has nothing to do with mikel

        1. Very true, it’s not like Arteta was coaching Marseille last year when Saliba was playing. Arteta thought he needed the loan (fair enough) but the coach at Marseille gets no credit for Saliba’s continued improvement? Yet Arteta does?

          Strange world we live in, Does it also apply when the player underperforms at the loan club? Is our manager similarly held responsible?

      1. Gun down last season we missed top 4 due to so many factors I couldn’t put it squery on defense rather on the upfront where we scored less with the chances we created and not being clinical enough cost us dearly. The injuries to our midfield had a hand as well

    2. I actually like white and I am glad he’s still in the starting line up .
      I also find most of his critics unjustified.
      But that doesn’t mean he’s worth the price or the decision to purchase him for that amount was right.
      He’s the most expensive player in the team right now and he’s not even playing in the position that he was bought for.
      If saliba was to come back and nailed the starting role, then why spend 50million on season before to find a player to play his position for just a single season.
      Spending such an amount after covid is huge. But I don’t really care it’s not my money.

      1. I have been one of the many that have been criticising Arteta for spending that money ch money a Ben White.

        But it shows that Arteta bought him for all that money because of his versatility. White is not playing in his preferred CB position but he is doing great at RB.. £50 million for a CB and RB in one..
        Good bit of business. And I think he might play in that DM position if we are desperate.

        So that might be £50 million for a CB, RB and DM in one.

        😊

        1. Your point is valid. But with our short squad and injury Crisis wouldn’t make it a strong point. Best thing is that that we have a cover for him in the both positions. At right back and CB. Arteta definitely doesn’t qualify him as a DM. I mean not even once has he given him a chance there.

      2. @ Kay if you cant see the reason such money was spent on White that means you are very blind and just blatantly biased. He was signed as a versatile ball playing defender, these are the attributes that convinced Edu & co that he is worth the price.

        He is now playing excellently well as an inverted right back which suits our system and is keeping our best right back for a decade Tomiyasu out of the team and White has better pass selection than Tomi. So White is two player rolled into one so we are saving another body weekly wages with him.

        1. My issues with some of you is lack of comprehension and calling peoples names for having different views from yours.
          Mention where I said white is not good enough or he shouldn’t be in the line up. Or talk down on his ability.
          I even mentioned how he has received unjustified criticism.
          Players being versatile doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be sign for a record fees.
          Going by your statement, Niles would have been the most valuable player we had in recent times.
          Milner would have been the best and most valuable player in the past decade.
          And Rooney would have been the greatest and most valuable EPL striker ever.
          Ooh wait English tax exist, but guess what those players I mentioned are English.
          In fact David Luiz would have been our most valuable defender in the past few years due to those ability you said.
          Versatile players are good to have but doesn’t mean they have to come with high price. Most player can be versatile, if being trained at a particular position but there are position that suit them better.
          I do agree with the wage saving though. Even though he’s the 4th highest earner in the squad right now.

      3. No wonder people aren’t taking us serious because the fans have a small club mentality. What is wrong in having multiple talented players in our team? It’s Arsenal football club for Christ sake.

  6. It always slightly tickles and irritates me why so many folk seem to want to know the single best or most important player. Or sometimes our worst too. What is surely of MOST importance is the whole team and whole squad and how THEY are playing and gelling together.

    And IMO by far the most important person – as I will, but only temporarily, play this rather juvenile game – is Arteta , the man who is MOST responsible for this marked all round improvement in our play.
    So IF you really want me to play this game, then MA is my man and he ought to be yours too , if you are wise, Just my take!

    1. If the discussion goes beyond players, then it is only just to include Edu in the discussion.

      His connections have brought in fine young talent, and his conversations convincing the board that canceling contracts (Auba, Chambers, Sokratis, Mustafi, etc…) is akin to saving money has been crucial.

      I think perhaps Josh Kroenke could be another one to mention.

      His increased involvement, and a driving force in increased spending has made all the recruitment and success possible. Not to mention his decision to stick with Arteta and believe in him despite 2 8th place finishes, losing out on European football, and collapsing at the end of last season.

      Point being it is a complete team effort for a change, not down to one man trying desperately to hold things together.

      1. I tend to like your view regarding our transformation than majority views. In fact josh would be the person who would have deserves the credit the most. For the appointments and injecting money in the team and giving the management more time.
        Edu interview also made me realize that the whole project stuff was his idea.
        While Arteta takes and deserves the on field credit.

        1. True it is a complete team effort.

          Arteta wouldn’t get the pitch results without the new players on the pitch.

          The new players would not be possible without the efforts and skillset of Edu .

          None of the above would be possible without Josh Kroenke massively investing in the squad.

          Also, for believing in Arteta and being patient in spite of finishing 8th twice, no European football, and falling apart to finish 5th last year.

          I would say it starts at the top with Josh, which is a good sign for our club going forward. All signs point to Josh being a good person to steer us forward.

  7. Saliba has been ridiculously good considering his age and not having played in the league before. Virtually zero mistakes and just looks so comfortable.
    Xhaka’s transformation is perhaps even more incredible to me. It’s not just that he’s playing well, it’s the fact that his off the ball movement, in an attacking sense, has been so effective, it’s actually one of our more dangerous attacking threats. Never would have seen that coming.

  8. I became a gunner in 1998 at age 14…..aside the invisible team, I have never seen an arsenal team as complete as the one I watched on Sunday, I mean no weakness at all was seen.

    Sure we all can say, it’s just Brentford, Lol , well same Brentford thrashed a full strength Manchester United , how many again😃😃

      1. He sure would have seen the invisible play (02-03). I did, and i was only 15 then. I became a gunner in 1988 just after France 98 at 10yrs, i really can’t agree that this present team is the best after the invisible. I’d say the set that has Fabregas, Hleb, Rosicky, Sagna, v. Persie, Walcottand their likes were the best, they were just under-achievers also with a bad or i’d say average GK & ST in Almunia ans Bendtner respectively.

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