St Etienne boss Claude Puel has insisted that William Saliba is ready to stake a claim for a regular starting role at Arsenal next term.
The 19 year-old defender was signed by the Gunners last summer, whilst agreeing to let him stay on with his former club for the current campaign.
Saliba helped his side to reach the French Cup final, which looks unlikely to be played out now with the division having been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
His former coach has insisted that the 19 year-old is ready to make his mark in the Arsenal first-team, highlighting his maturity that will help him despite his young years.
‘He is ready,’ Puel said.
‘He is a fantastic player.
‘He is a young player but with a lot of maturity in his play. Also, in his life. He is a player with a good feeling and spirit.
‘It will be hard for us without him but I think it is a fantastic opportunity for Arsenal.
‘I think they need a good centre-back and have done for some time, and I think William is the right player.
‘I think he can play all the time in the first team at Arsenal.’
Saliba looks set to battle it out with Pablo Mari and David Luiz for the first-team spots at centre-back next term, although there is talk that we could move to bring in another centre-back also.
From what I’ve seen from the defender, he certainly does look ready to make his mark and command a regular starting role already, although Pablo Mari and David Luiz could well formed a formidable partnership for the remainder of the campaign, and he may have a battle on his hands come the new season.
Will Saliba start the season as the first-choice? Or will he be given time to settle before being thrust into the limelight?