William Saliba has lauded Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for his work on the training pitch in improving the centre-back’s game, with the defender flourishing under the 40-year-old coach.
In an interview with Canal Plus via GFFN, the France international was full of praise for Arteta since returning to Arsenal this summer and becoming a key player in the Basque manager’s starting XI, with Saliba starting every single Premier League game for the Gunners this campaign.
Saliba was sent out on loan twice by Arteta with rumours swirling that the Arsenal boss wasn’t a fan of the French youngster, however, two years later, the manager’s masterplan for the defender’s development has paid off in a huge way, with the centre-back having a breakthrough season in England.
The defender has formed a great partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes with Ben White thriving in his new right-back position, with Arsenal’s backline one of the sturdiest in the Premier League this campaign, and Arteta’s work in forming this new-look back-four has been crucial.
The former Manchester City coach signed Gabriel, White and Oleksandr Zinchencko, and with Saliba now working well with Arteta off the pitch, the French defender could become even better than he already is in what is an exciting prospect for Arsenal and their supporters.
Saliba said when asked about Arteta: “We spoke a bit at the beginning of the season. He was happy with what I did whilst on loan. He’s a very good coach, who really knows what he’s doing. He is clear in everything that he says. He has helped me integrate quickly into this system of play. Every day he gives advice to be better on the pitch.”
For a time, it felt like Saliba would never actually play for Arsenal as the defender’s future this summer looked murky following an outstanding year out on loan with Olympique Marseille, yet Arteta has thrown his full faith behind Saliba, and the decision has worked out in the best possible way.
The defender has been one of the best in the Premier League this season, and with Saliba still just 21-years-old, Arsenal have a player who could play in the centre-back position and become world-class for many years to come, all due to Arteta’s management of the youngster’s career.