Arsenal defender William Saliba admits he had a “lazy” and “sulky” attitude before his move to north London.
The 22-year-old joined the Gunners aged 18 in the summer of 2019, however, fans were forced to wait three years before he made his debut. But it was worth the wait.
Saliba, who recently made the PFA Team of the Year for his performances in 2022/23, previously started as a striker.
The Frenchman then became a central defender, after having problems with the coaches.
“I wanted to score in every game, but I wouldn’t say I was a selfish player,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“Some attackers are selfish, but I also looked for my teammates.
“I have to be honest though and say I was a lazy player. Yes, I was lazy, and also I sulked a lot. My manager always criticized me for sulking, for being lazy in training.
“Maybe that’s why I wasn’t captain!” Like I said, I was young at heart, but then I grew up. My coaches helped me a lot at that age. I realized how much you had to be on the field and I changed.
Saliba, who was drafted into France’s final squad for his country’s European qualifiers and featured in the 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on Thursday, also spoke of unity at Arsenal.
“You learn about everyone, about every culture,” he added.
“We learn a lot about new cultures, and I also like when people come to see me and ask me questions about France.
“Maybe they go on vacation to Paris, or to the south of France and they tell me about it.
“We have a very good atmosphere here. Every day we laugh, we joke, we enjoy being together, but when we are on the field we go hard and we mean business.
“It’s important to have both, you can’t do one without the other.”
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