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Mikel Arteta makes admission about William Saliba dribbling out of defence
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta makes admission about William Saliba dribbling out of defence

Mikel Arteta told Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football’s special (broadcast on 22/12; 23:01) that he is not a fan of centre-backs dribbling while watching a clip of William Saliba, suggesting that the only reason the Arsenal star needed to bring the ball out in that way was because he had already made a mistake.

It is hard to be critical of anything Saliba has done this season. It is almost remarkable at this stage to recall that there seemed to be few guarantees ahead of the campaign that he would be in Arteta’s plans.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Obviously, he was still awaiting the chance to make his debut. But there now seems to be absolutely no question over whether Arteta rates Saliba as highly as the supporters do.

Arteta makes admission during Saliba clip

The Frenchman has been absolutely outstanding alongside Gabriel Magalhaes throughout the campaign. He has arguably been the standout centre-back in the league.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

However, it would appear that Arteta may not be entirely happy with everything Saliba has done.

During his interview with Carragher, Arteta was shown a clip in which Saliba had to get himself out of a tight spot away at Brentford.

Admittedly, the Gunners boss admitted that the 21-year-old is able to save the situation. But he suggested that he is a little uneasy when Saliba spends too long in possession.

“What William has done here, for example, he has the composure to do that,” he told Monday Night Football. “In my opinion, I don’t like the central defenders dribbling.

“If Willy has to dribble here, it’s because two seconds before he’s done something that is not right because it’s not a necessity to do that action. But he’s still able to resolve the situation.”

Saliba has not been flawless this term. But given how brave he is on the ball, he seems to have made so few mistakes along the way. FBRef shows that he is one of the top centre-backs in Europe for dribbling.

He is willing to drive out from the back with the ball. But he also seems to usually make the right decision when it comes to picking the right time to make a pass.

It is scary to think that he is likely to only improve in the coming years. He is already one of the best in the Premier League.

Obviously, Arteta would prefer him to not do certain things. But it is hard to imagine that he will be anything other than delighted with how his game is developing.

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