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William Saliba is loving life at Arsenal after excellent start a year after Ian Wright’s questions

‘I feel at home here’: William Saliba is loving life at Arsenal after an excellent start to his Premier League career… Just a year after Gunners legend Ian Wright questioned the club for loaning him out, asking if they thought he wasn’t at the standard’

  • William Saliba has addressed historical questions regarding his role at Arsenal
  • Many questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to send him on loan to Nice and Marseille
  • But the defender has answered questions emphatically with two goals in seven
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William Saliba has provided an emphatic answer to questions about his role at Arsenal after adapting effortlessly to life in north London following three consecutive loan spells away from the club.

The decision to send the 21-year-old back to Ligue 1 on loan was widely criticized, with many questioning the wisdom of doing so as the club were visibly struggling at the back.

But Saliba revealed after Sunday’s clash with Brentford that he ‘feels at home’ in north London, having slotted seamlessly into the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence.

William Saliba says he feels at home in north London after finally breaking into the first team
William Saliba says he feels at home in north London after finally breaking into the first team

William Saliba says he feels at home in north London after finally breaking into the first team

Speaking to SkySports after another goalscoring performance in an Arsenal shirt, the France defender declared: ‘I’m at home here. I like London, I like the club, I like everything. I feel at home here.’

His loan spells had raised several eyebrows, including from the likes of club legend Ian Wright, who questioned why the defender was bought in the first place after a weak Gunners defense conceded five against Manchester City in his absence.

The Frenchman already has two goals in seven this season
The Frenchman already has two goals in seven this season

The Frenchman already has two goals in seven this season

Arteta’s back five included Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Cedric.

Kolasinac is now appearing for Marseille, Chambers was sold to Aston Villa last season and Holding, Tierney and Cedric have lost starting places in the side.

Wright said: ‘I have to believe it [Sead] Kolasinac – someone they are trying to get rid of – is better than William Saliba?

‘Saliba, which is on loan and apparently not on [required] standard.

‘So if [Saliba] is not up to standard to play in this team – and Kolasinac can play – why did we buy him?

‘Because if Kolasinac can play in front of him, what will happen? Why did we buy him?’

The Gunners signed Saliba back in 2019 for £27m as one for the future, but several impressive performances in France made it clear he was already a top-class defender, winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season for 2021-22.

Ian Wright was one of several pundits who questioned the club's handling of the young Frenchman
Ian Wright was one of several pundits who questioned the club's handling of the young Frenchman

Ian Wright was one of several pundits who questioned the club’s handling of the young Frenchman

But this season he has been part of the Arsenal side that sit top of the Premier League, impressing enough to appear to have permanently pushed the versatile Ben White out to the right flank to make way .

The 21-year-old already has two goals for the club too, with his first game against Bournemouth emphatic, a first-time finish saw the ball curl from the left of the box into the top-right corner as Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win.

His second was a header against Brentford on Sunday, and although he suffered the indignity of an own goal against Leicester, he also has three clean sheets to his name from seven games.

The 21-year-old won last season's young player of the season award with Marseille in Ligue 1
The 21-year-old won last season's young player of the season award with Marseille in Ligue 1

The 21-year-old won last season’s young player of the season award with Marseille in Ligue 1

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