William Gallas has told William Saliba that he must be ready to play at every opportunity, and that not having played enough will not be an excuse that will sit well at Arsenal.
The defender joined the club from St Etienne back in 2019, but is yet to make his senior debut for the Gunners after three successive loan spells in Ligue 1.
After an amazing 12 months with Marseille last term, where he not only earned the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, but also helped his side to earn a Champions League spot by finishing runners-up in the league to Paris Saint-Germain.
He is now expected to stay at Arsenal for the upcoming season, but first-team football will need to be earned with Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White having formed a partnership last term, and Gallas has warned him that he will need to be ‘patient’ and remain ‘ready’ to give his best when the opportunities come.
‘He did well at Marseille. He had a great season with Marseille, but Arsenal and the Premier League is another level,’ Gallas told the Metro.
‘I think he has to be patient, I’m sure Mikel Arteta will give him minutes to play and slowly, slowly he will be in the starting XI.
‘What is very important for the young players is to be patient because if not you can get upset. If you are upset you don’t train properly, if you play on the weekend you won’t have as good a performance, so you have to be patient and know your time will come.
‘When a manager puts you in the starting XI you have to be ready. That is the excuse sometimes for players, if you don’t play well in the starting XI, they can say they didn’t perform because they didn’t play very much. No! You should be ready, at the training ground you have to do more because you never know what could happen at the weekend.
‘You could have a situation where maybe at the last moment you have to play, so if you don’t have a good session during the week, how can you be good at the weekend? That’s why you have to be patient.’
This sounds like sound advice from our former defender, although I don’t believe that Saliba will have to wait long to get his chance. Saliba should have pre-season to start to showcase his talents before the season gets underway next month.
Do you think our young defender has the mentality to remain patient if things don’t go his way immediately? Could Saliba still leave on loan if he doesn’t impress in pre-season?
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Mikel Arteta gives a short press conference after Arsenal’s comeback win over Nurnberg.
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