August 10, 2022

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Ian Wright says Arsenal defender Rob Holding was ‘terrified’ of Son Heung-min throughout Tottenham defeat

William Saliba is set to stay at Arsenal (Picture: Getty) Mikel Arteta says William Saliba’s...
William Saliba is set to stay at Arsenal
William Saliba is set to stay at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta says William Saliba’s loan spells away from the club have helped him ‘evolve’ after the Spaniard held talks with the defender over his future at the club.

The 21-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Arsenal’s first team, despite making a £30million move to the Emirates three years ago.

Saliba has had loan spells with St Etienne, Nice and Marseille since his move to the Gunners and Marseille had been keen to make his move a permanent one after he impressed on the French south coast last term.

The defender had been similarly keen but he wanted to clarify his future with Arteta first before making a decision.

The pair spoke when Saliba joined up with the group for pre-season training on Monday and Arteta made it clear to the Frenchman that he will be given opportunities next term.

Saliba is now minded to stay and he had the chance to impress as he featured in Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Everton in the United States on Saturday night.

And Arteta made encouraging comments about Saliba’s performance afterwards, saying the defender had a ‘great performance’.

SOCCER: JUL 16 Arsenal v Everton
Saliba impressed against Everton (Picture: Getty)

‘He was really good,’ said Arteta.

‘I think he played a really good game, he looked really composed, straight away from day one he looked completely focussed.

‘He’s evolved the way we wanted and today I think he had a great performance.’

Saliba will compete for a starting berth with Ben White, Gabriel and Rob Holding.

Juventus hold an interest in Gabriel but Arteta wants to keep the Brazilian.

See also  Mikel Arteta ‘delighted’ with William Saliba as he offers replace on contract talks

The Gunners had been keen on signing Ajax ace Lisandro Martinez but they were beaten to the Argentine’s signature by Manchester United.

MORE : ‘A matter of time’ – Mikel Arteta gives update on Bukayo Saka new contract after Arsenal’s latest pre-season win

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