Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has stressed that he has “no doubts” about William Saliba going up against Tottenham Hotspur’s strong front-line.
The 21-year-old has been one of the Gunners’ many success stories this season.
Saliba joined Arsenal back in 2019 but had to wait three years to make his debut, taking in three loan spells while on the Gunners’ books.
The Frenchman played for Saint-Etienne, the club he swapped for Arsenal, during the 2019-20 campaign.
Saliba then spent the first half of the 2020-21 campaign at his parent club before joining Nice on loan in 2021.
He then spent last season out on loan at Marseille, where he really made a name for himself.
Saliba helped them to a runner-up finish in the French top-flight and was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year.
Then, in August, he finally made his Arsenal debut as the Gunners beat Crystal Palace on the opening day of the Premier League season.
Saliba’s efforts have helped Arteta’s side go top of the table ahead of Saturday’s North London derby at the Emirates.
Now, the “very promising” talent will be up against arguably one of the strongest attacks in English football.
Saliba and his fellow Arsenal back line will try to keep quiet a front line containing Harry Kane and two of Son Heung-min, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski.
But Arteta says he has no qualms about playing Saliba against Tottenham.
“William has shown over the past few months what he is capable of,” he told the Arsenal media team.
“And that doesn’t mean that things are always going to go in the same direction.
“But he’s been so good that from my side I have no doubts.”
Arteta will feel vindicated over Saliba’s patience – TBR View
Arsenal’s defense was one of their weak points not long ago.
Now, Arteta has three world-class centre-backs he can call upon in Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White.
And that’s before mentioning the quality and increasing strength in depth throughout the whole squad.
Given how much criticism Arteta received for holding back on Saliba, he will surely feel vindicated now that the player has finally got up to speed.
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