Should Saliba be scoring even more goals from Arsenal’s improved set-pieces?

If I asked you to list three Arsenal players who have been the most consistent this season, I’m confident you’d name William Saliba as one of them. The Frenchman has been outstanding, elevating Arsenal’s defense. There’s a lot we could say about his skill in the Arsenal defense, but I believe Gabriel Jesus conveyed nicely what Saliba offers to the squad.

Gabriel Jesus, sometime back on the Denilson show, admitted this about the Frenchman: “When he plays, we concede few goals; when he doesn’t play, the number (goals conceded) increases.

“When I got injured, Eddie replaced me very well. Then we signed Leo (Trossard). We kept the pace.

“But when Saliba got injured, it was complicated. The other defenders are good, but we were playing in a certain way. Look at the stats; we concede a lot less with him.”

Arsenal’s defense is in capable hands with Saliba and all the Gunners can hope for is that he can stay fit throughout the season. That said, Mikel Arteta is eager to see his defender develop into a complete footballer who can not just thrive defensively but also contribute offensively.

In Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Burnley before the international break, Saliba headed the ball in from a Leandro Trossard corner. That was a great moment, and I imagined Saliba excelling in both defense and scoring – that would be fantastic. It certainly would be, and Mikel Arteta revealed after the game that they are in training with Saliba to make the most of his physicality when they play set pieces.

Arteta said this via about Saliba’s 6ft 4 advantage in the penalty area: “We are big lads! Willy is a real presence, but he hasn’t yet shown that skill consistently, and we are really working with him in training because he can be much more dominant in the penalty area and at the back, and his goal against Burnley showed that. I congratulate my assistants, who have worked tirelessly with Willy. We are the team that generates the most set pieces.”

Arsenal has already won 153 aerial battles and had 21 headers at goal after 12 league games. This is far better than their performance last season.

Aside from Saliba, Zinchenko, Ben White, Gabriel, and Tomiyasu are all exceptionally tall. In fact, though unconfirmed, some argue Arsenal has the tallest defense.

This physicality is a plus for Arsenal; it hasn’t been available at the Emirates in years, so they should capitalize on it.

Darren N

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags Saliba set-pieces


  1. Who cares if Saliba should score more or not? His job is to defend well. And he does it very well. Everything else should just be irrelevant or a bonus.

  2. What a daft question, I don’t care whether Saliba only scores 2 or 3 goals a season, his main job is in a defensive position and any goals he does get are a bonus. It’s a bit like saying should a forward who comes back and defends a corner and clears one off the line be doing that more often.

    1. I suppose if we went through the season with our defenders scoring 0 goals from set plays, it would be felt as a problem. Doesn’t have to be saliba specifically, but we do need to be a consistent threat from set plays, and given he’s one of our best in the air, he has the opportunity to contribute more than most.

  3. Saliba scoring goals is a added bonus i expect Gabriel Magallanes to score more headers because i think he is more superior to Saliba when it comes to aerial duels it important to have tall CB look at Klopp he likes is CB to be tall to avoid being bullied by CF because their primary goals for a centre back is to defend anything else is a added bonus, keeping Saliba fit also should be a priority for the club because currently no CB in the team can replicate what Saliba does in that team.

  4. Aside from Saliba, Zinchenko, Ben White, Gabriel, and Tomiyasu are all exceptionally tall. In fact, though unconfirmed, some argue Arsenal has the tallest defense.”
    Zinny’s 5ft9! I’m not sure what exceptionally tall means, but to me, Tomi (and kiwior) and Gabriel are fairly tall at 6ft2/3, and saliba is very tall at 6ft4, but there are much taller players in the league.
    Aside from zinny, they are all strong in the air (I’m still not 100% convinced about white, but he’s good for a RB) – I suppose that’s what you meant

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors