Arsenal defender William Saliba described himself as ‘very happy’ to finally make his Gunners debut, starting with a clean sheet and win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League opener on Friday.
Saliba joined Arsenal in 2019 as an 18-year-old in a £27m transfer. But he has spent the last three years on loan at Saint-tienne, Nice and Marseille, playing 52 times in all competitions for the latter season and being named Ligue 1 youth player of the year.
The centre-back had never played a competitive first-team game. armory Before walking the pitch at Selhurst Park but he looked every bit like he belonged there.
“It was great because we start with a win and a clean sheet. It was a tough game, but we won in the end, very good. I’ve waited a long time, but we did it in our first game and I’m very happy. Arsenal.com,
“It’s great when you start getting your first (chance) at this wonderful club. So I’m so happy, and hungry for more,” said the physically imposing Frenchman.
“We knew it was going to be a very tough game, but we were prepared and we were focused. It’s good for confidence, it’s great and I hope we keep going like that. We’re 11K and the players who came home gave their maximum.
“It’s a good team, it’s great when we play like this.”
Manager Mikel Arteta was quite pleased with what he saw from Saliba, especially in potentially very difficult playing conditions.
“For William, asking him to come here in his first Premier League game away from home against this physical team is a big deal and the way the guy played and the way he tackled every situation is a big deal. Deserves the credit, and I’ll have my back because he was brilliant,” Arteta said.
“He is a really humble person and he wants to be trained and he wants to learn. He is really focused and determined to succeed here and he has been very patient. We tried to convince and develop him in the right way And we’re really happy for that.”