Arsenal fans react to William Saliba's performance against Gillingham

William Saliba in action for Arsenal

Arguably Arsenal's weakest position is centre-back.

Mikel Arteta decided to sign Gabriel Magalhães this summer and he has proved to be a wise acquisition.

But question marks remain over Gabriel's long-term partner at the back for the Gunners.

Rob Holding has been getting game time under Arteta but he came under-fire for his performance as Arsenal were thrashed 3-0 by Aston Villa.

Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, David Luiz and Calum Chambers have all featured for Arsenal but have flattered to deceive.

William Saliba in action for Saint Etienne

But what about William Saliba?

There was much excitement when the French youngster signed for Arsenal in a £27m move in 2019.

He was sent on loan last season and impressed in Ligue 1 for Saint-Etienne.

Many Arsenal fans hoped he would get his chance when he returned this summer but that hasn't materialised.

He appeared for Arsenal's U23s in their Papa John's Trophy match victory Gillingham on Tuesday evening.

And he put in an impressive display.

The 19-year-old was composed at the back throughout. He earned praise for his role in Arsenal's goal as he drove out the back and produced a fine pass.

And he also produced a well-timed tackle to prevent Gillingham from scoring. It was actually give as a foul but that seemed harsh.

Saliba's stat line from the game was impressive.

According to SofaScore, he was given a 7.6 rating, which was the second highest among Arsenal players.

He made four clearances, blocked two shots, made one interception, had a pass accuracy of 91% and completed 10 long balls.

Many Arsenal fans were pleased with his performance and now think he's ready to feature under Arteta in the first-team.


Saliba put in a good performance, but it's important to consider the opposition he was playing against.

The youngster clearly has the talent and there must be a reason why Arteta is keeping him away from the first-team.

He clearly doesn't think he's ready yet and that may be the case.

However, it's clear he has the talent. If he keeps thriving for the U23s, then Arteta should give him some game time in the Europa League.

If he does well in European competition, then the Spanish manager has to start playing him in the Premier League.

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