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‘The step is really, really big’ – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals William Saliba worry and plays down expectations


first_img Comment Saliba will be part of Arsenal’s first-team squad for the 2020/21 campaign (Picture: Getty)‘I know the player. He has the right mentality, the right attitude, the right physique. But he needs to fit in and that’s something nobody knows until the moment he lands in that dressing room.’Arteta expects French-speaking David Luiz to play a big role in helping Saliba settle in, adding: ‘I’m sure about how he is going to treat him, how he is going to look after him, how he is going to guide him.‘The young players need stable players around them with experience who have lots of leadership. The way David supports them is very important to us.’MORE: Folarin Balogun appears to confirm Arsenal exit on Instagram after failing to agree new contractMORE: Mikel Arteta puts Arsenal defenders up for sale along with Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas TorreiraFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Advertisement Arsenal spent £27m on Saliba and loaned him back to Saint-Etienne (Picture: Getty)It does not make for an ideal start to his career at Arsenal, though Arteta is in no doubt that he has all the ingredients required to be a big hit – as long as fans are patient as he adapts to the step up in quality and intensity.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I am excited to work with him but I am worried about the expectations because I know how difficult it is to play as a central defender in this country,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.‘It is one of the most complicated positions here. The step is really, really big.‘William had a really positive season last year, but he has had a really difficult one this year with injuries.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘We know where the potential is, but to fulfil that potential every three days at the highest level is a different task. So, tranquilo [relax].‘He is, in my opinion, in phase one or two of his development. He has a lot of things to learn but hopefully, we can give him the right environment to make that process very quick.center_img The 19-year-old centre-back will join the first-team squad this summer (Picture: Getty)Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he is excited to start working with William Saliba, though has moved quickly to temper fans’ expectations and believes he will need time to develop.The 19-year-old enjoyed a strong campaign back on loan at Saint-Etienne after signing with the Gunners last summer, making the French Cup final – though he will be unable to play in the match after Arsenal did not agree to extend his loan.Saint-Etienne were unwilling to follow a specialised training plan for Saliba requested by the north London club, and the youngster was left hugely disappointed with Arsenal’s decision. ‘The step is really, really big’ – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals William Saliba worry and plays down expectations Metro Sport ReporterFriday 3 Jul 2020 3:57 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link914Shareslast_img

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