Arsenal travel to Craven Cottage to face newly-promoted Fulham this weekend on the opening day of the Premier League season and will be looking for a statement win against their London rivals.
The Gunners had an underwhelming last season with an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League, but did finish strongly by winning the FA Cup and they’ve also kicked off this campaign by winning the FA Community Shield.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is currently prepared his side for Fulham and speculation suggests that teenager William Saliba could make his debut.
According to the Daily Mail, senior defender David Luiz is set to miss the opening fixture after aggravating a neck injury and that’s opened up a position in the backline.
The report suggests that Saliba will be the man to slot into the starting XI as part of a back three against Fulham.
Saliba has to seize chance
Despite joining Arsenal back in July 2019, Saliba remained with Saint-Etienne during last season and only linked up with his new teammates this summer.
The 19-year-old is a highly-rated Frenchman that many fans are expecting to be the long-term solution in Arteta’s XI, but he may got his chance to impress immediately.
He’s a ball-playing centre-back that faces stiff competition to nail down a starting position this season and the Fulham fixture represents a massive opportunity for him to force the manager into sticking with him.
It looked on paper like any defender could walk into Arsenal’s XI during the first half of last season, but a chance in system has suited them and made them much more defensively resilient.
Saliba is now competing with the likes of Luis, Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and Shkodran Mustafi