Mikel Arteta has urged fans to lower their expectations on William Saliba as he joins the Gunners from Saint Etienne finally.
The defender was signed by the Gunners last summer, but they decided to allow him to remain with the French side on loan to continue his development with them.
He was in fine form for his French team this season and he even helped them to reach the French cup final.
Arsenal fans and even some pundits are excited about the prospect of him joining the Gunners and he is expected to walk straight into the Arsenal first-team when he joins.
Mikel Arteta, however, while admitting he is excited about having the Frenchman in his team, has also asked for the expectations placed on him to be lowered because it can be very difficult to play as a defender in the Premier League.
‘I am excited to work with him but I am worried about the expectations because I know how difficult it is to play as a central defender in this country,’ Arteta told Sky Sports as quoted by Metro Sports.
‘It is one of the most complicated positions here. The step is really, really big.
‘William had a really positive season last year, but he has had a really difficult one this year with injuries.
‘We know where the potential is, but to fulfil that potential every three days at the highest level is a different task. So, tranquilo [relax].
‘He is, in my opinion, in phase one or two of his development. He has a lot of things to learn but hopefully, we can give him the right environment to make that process very quick.
‘I know the player. He has the right mentality, the right attitude, the right physique. But he needs to fit in and that’s something nobody knows until the moment he lands in that dressing room.’
Arsenal fans hope that he will make their defence better as that position has been a problematic one in the team for a long time.