Arsenal FC open new contract talks with William Saliba after strong start to season

The 21-year-old Frenchman has been in sensational form this season, and he put in another fine performance on Saturday, helping the Gunners beat Tottenham 3-1 to stay top of the Premier League.

Centre-back Saliba joined Arsenal in 2019 from Saint-Etienne for £27m but only made his debut this year after being on loan for the past three seasons.

Saliba has quickly become a key part of Mikel Arteta’s defense and the club want to tie him down on new terms, with less than two years left on his current contract.

Asked about the prospect of signing a new contract soon, Saliba replied: “Yeah, we’ll see. They [Arsenal and my agent] speak a bit. [When I spoke with Arteta in the summer]he talked about my last season and he explained the project for this season.

“You have to wait every time and I’ve been waiting a long time for my first North London derby. I enjoyed it from the first minute to the end, and now I’m so happy. We’re so happy to win at home against Tottenham. It was a difficult game, but we were focused the whole game. We deserve this victory.

Saliba has started all eight of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, with Ben White moving to right-back to welcome him into the backline, and held firm against Harry Kane on Saturday and made sure his teammates kept their heads up when they swayed. before halftime.

Arsenal took the lead in the 20th minute through Thomas Partey, but Kane’s penalty 11 minutes later threw them off balance. Saliba was notably one of those to keep his composure at 1-1 and Arsenal wrapped up the victory in the second half, thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka.

Saliba had his name chanted by Arsenal fans as he walked off the pitch and he loves playing against Kane every week.

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“We play against the best players in the world. It’s good for young players like me, and I’m learning a lot,” he said. “The more we win, the more confident we are. We want every week to win, win, win – and that’s it.

“It’s a derby, a big match, where all the fans and the players want to win. I love playing big games like this. Saliba’s fine performance was made even more visible by his central defensive partner Gabriel, who gave away the penalty – which Kane converted – after bringing down Richarlison with a reckless challenge in the box.

Saliba has been Arsenal’s chosen centre-back this season and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has hailed his impact.

“He has settled in really well,” he said. “It’s a credit to him to have been brought straight into the team, he’s a bit of a Rolls-Royce with the way he moves and he never seemed fazed.

“He’s still a young boy so he still makes mistakes, so the minute it’s either Ben [White]I, Gabriel or Thomas Partey dig him up and he digs other people up too.

“That’s the main thing at the minute, our mistakes don’t lead to too much and that’s a sign of a team that has good characters in and around that back five.”


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