Aaron Ramsdale has claimed that William Saliba has been making mistakes at the back for Arsenal this term, but his team-mates have been ‘digging him out’.
The young Frenchman has been soaked up plenty of attention since joining the club from St Etienne in 2019, with many commenting on his treatment by our club since joining. Saliba spent his first year under contract with us on loan with his former side, in a season which was ended early thanks to the Coronavirus.
The centre-back was later claimed to have suffered the tragic loss of his mother, and spent the first half of the 2020-21 season with our second team, before eventually being allowed to complete the term on loan with Nice. After impressing once again in France, it was thought that he could return to vie for a role in the squad, but instead we opted to splash £50 Million on the signing of Ben White, and allow William to spend yet another year back in France, this time with Marseille, and that season couldn’t have gone much better for him.
Saliba played the full 90 minutes of 36 of their 38 league matches, helping them to finish second in the division and earn a place in the Champions League, and his performances even saw him named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year.
He has since returned to north London this term and thrust into the first-team, playing every minute of our eight opening league matches, but while he is reaping plenty of praise for his performances thus far, goalkeeper Ramsdale insists that he is not playing without fault.
“He is a young boy so still makes mistakes, so at the minute it is either Ben (White), myself, Gabriel or Thomas Partey digging him out, and he is digging other people out as well,” Ramsdale claimed.
“That is the main thing at the minute, our mistakes aren’t leading to too many things, and that is the sign of a team with good characters in and around that back five. He has fit in really well,” said the Englishman. “It is a credit to him that he has been put straight into the team. He is a bit of a Rolls-Royce with the way he moves, and he has never seemed phased.”
It is normal for team-mates to cover each other, and natural for players to get caught out from time to time, but it how the team adapts to each situation, and as a unit, our back line has been impressive thus far. Saliba gives us a lot in transition as well as in helping to defend, and he is only going to get better as the knowledge of working with his fellow players grows also.