We may have to wait some time before Saliba joins the Arsenal first team

Saliba makes Arsenal debut for the U23s by Shenel Osman

It may not be too long before we see William Saliba in the first team at Arsenal, but until then it seems as though he is helping the Under-23’s get their campaign underway.

Fans hoping to see him even on the bench against West Ham yesterday were disappointed to know that he featured for the U-23’s on Friday during their 2-2 draw with Brighton, and is continuing to be eased into the first team after he had a rather injury hit time when playing for Saint Etienne. The good news is though that he got through the whole game.

Arteta spoke about Saliba last week and said: “I think it’s going to take him some time to adapt to our way of playing, but as well to get adapted to the language, the rhythm, the physicality of the country.”

Although he wasn’t on the scoresheet, he seemed to have impressed during the game, showing composure and quality to dominate play from deep. The U-23’s continuously pushed forward throughout but in the lead up to the goal, Saliba played a key role, he stepped up, skipping forward out of the defence, where he played a pass into the attack that Olayinka was able to turn and finish into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 to the Arsenal. Despite creating a number of chances after that to put the game to bed we were soon made to pay for the misses, Danny Cashman headed in at the far post to make it 2-2 for the share of the spoils.

Saliba himself spoke to Arsenal.com a few days ago, and it sounds like the teenager still has a need to improve his English. “I had an Arsenal jersey when I was little with Thierry Henry [on the back], so I liked the club since then,”

“Now I am very proud to have the Arsenal jersey.

“I don’t know why [I got it]! I went in the shop, and I only wanted Arsenal. I liked Vieira and Thierry Henry because I was little and I only knew the French players and they were very good.

“I am very, very proud to have the number four, so I have to be ready to carry number four.”

It is exciting to hear positive words from Saliba but he will need to settle in, although as much as we would like to witness that talent in the first team for sure, we may have to wait a bit.

Gooners how long do you think it will be before we see Saliba in our first team?



  1. This site is on a fast track to a swift implosion lol people getting absolutely triggered when an opinion doesnt align with there own, “deluded” has become the new buzz word, absolutely trashing articles because there not interested in it like this site is tailor made for them and no one else, people that ONLY make posts that make a sly dig at someone else post for moral superiority and never have anything positive to say. Go back a couple of years and this site was nowhere near as toxic, really sad 😕

  2. After witnessing such a poor performance by our back three yesterday I would like to think it would not be too long before we see Saliba in the first team.From what Arteta has said, he is unlikely to figure against Leicester although a secondary Cup competition would seem to me to be the ideal opportunity for him to show his paces.

  3. Hopefully he won’t take too long to fit in
    Language wise, I’d have thought that having spent a year back on loan an English tutor could have improved his English to an acceptable level

    It staggers me how the players from any of the PL teams manage to communicate effectively with so many nationalities involved No wonder Arteta shouts his instructions in various languages

    1. Right you are SueP, even Gabriel only knows Come on you gooners, that’s about what he can speak in English. Saliba and Gabriel speak French, they can form a bond especially after Holding’s poor performance yesterday. I think Saliba should be given a debut against Leicester. Let’s see how he and Gabriel pairing would work

    2. My thinking exactly. He had a year (or more) to learn, but he’s young so shouldn’t take too long to catch up. We could do with some more Swiss input.

  4. The boy is probably the next big talented defender to come out of France after Varane, if he is any where as good as Varane then we have a player on our hand. Hope he stays injury free and goes on to make a fantastic career at Arsenal. Language should not be a barrier for him as when you develop understanding on the pitch you don’t have to shout to each other all the time….things become telepathic. I am really excited for our future defence with Saliba, Gabi, Tierney and Bellerin. Lot of pace, height and composure in defence that has been missing for ages.

  5. This thing called “easing in” players is only found at arsenal.

    Big clubs don’t linger around. They put all their good players regardless of when and where they arrived.

    Case in point is Brendan Rodgers, Klopp, Guardiola. Guess the likes of Thiago, Castagne, Van de Beek, Harvetz didn’t need this easing in nonsense.

  6. I take your point Herbz, but the players quoted are all established full internationals whereas 19 year old Saliba is not at that level, yet.I was very impressed with Castagne against Burnley .He looks a great buy at under 20m?

    1. Saliba is also still rehabilitating after a serious injury. U23 is much less pressured than first team so re-injury is less likely. Having said that he is fitter than half of our other centre backs so I see him being thrown in sooner than expected.

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