Report: William Saliba was deemed 'League One level' by some Arsenal players
Arsenal defender William Saliba has been one of the Gunners’ standout players of the season.
The 21-year-old has formed an amazing centre-back partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes.
It’s quite remarkable that Saliba’s competitive Arsenal debut came just seven months ago.
The Frenchman’s career at the Emirates Stadium has been a slow burner to say the least.
Saliba joined Arsenal back in 2019 from Saint-Etienne for a reported £27million.
He then returned to Saint-Etienne on loan in 2019-20 as part of the deal.
However, things didn’t quite go to plan when Saliba linked up with Arsenal during the 2020-21 campaign.
According to ESPN, a number of players at the time thought that he was ‘League One level’.
Apparently, they argued that his positioning was poor whilst also claiming that he had a tendency to lunge into tackles.
None of those players are at Arsenal any more, added the report.
Saliba eventually spent the second half of that season on loan with Ligue 1 side Nice.
Then, in 2021-22, he enjoyed a hugely successful spell with Marseille, after which his Arsenal career really took off.
Don’t write anyone off too soon
It’s interesting to get this alleged insight into what some Arsenal players thought of Saliba back then.
Luckily, he has gone on to prove them wrong, and Arteta’s patience with him has been vindicated.
There is nothing but love now for Saliba at Arsenal, with several teammates singing his praises.
Aaron Ramsdale said “he’s got everything”, while Bukayo Saka said he has an “amazing future” and is “unbelievable”.
There’s a lesson here – never write anyone off so soon, particularly when they’re at the start of their career.
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