Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mikel Arteta told of William Saliba ‘mistake’ despite stellar Arsenal start

Mikel Arteta told of William Saliba ‘mistake’ despite stellar Arsenal start

William Saliba has received glowing reviews for his first season at Arsenal, but ex-Manchester United star Roy Keane believes he still “has a mistake in him.”

After three years largely spent on loan, the young France international has been integrated into the Gunners first-team set-up this season, and he has wasted little time adapting to the rigors of the Premier League.

Saliba was named man of the match in his debut against Crystal Palace and hasn’t looked back since.

He has started every league game for Arsenal, who are currently top of the table after winning eight of their first nine games.

This kind of form has fueled speculation that Mikel Arteta’s men could mount a serious title challenge.

While Keane admitted that the Gunners are likely to be the team that stands in the way of more Manchester City dominance this season, he also claimed that both Saliba and his central defensive partner Gabriel Magalhaes will be prone to errors.

When asked if he thought Arteta’s men were City’s main title contenders, Keane told Sky Sports: : “At the moment, yeah. Without a doubt.

“They’re playing with confidence, even the game they lost to Manchester United they played quite well but it was just one of those days. They’ve got a bit of physicality in the team, they’ve got two centre halves.

“I know they’ve got a mistake in them but there’s that physical presence.”

Both Saliba and Gabriel have a physical presence, but while Gabriel’s start to the season has been stuttering, 21-year-old Saliba has looked assured and composed, cool on the ball when under pressure.

Before the recent home win over Liverpool, Arteta said of his central defensive pairing, “I don’t see central defenders as individuals. They are always partnerships and there has to be an element of chemistry, understanding and complementing each other, and those two maximise each other’s qualities in a really positive way.

“Gabriel was coming from France, still raw physically, he wasn’t developed, he wasn’t in the muscular tone that obviously we wanted. But he has been really disciplined and working really hard to improve that because he understands the physicality in this league is really demanding. You see him physically and everyone notices the change.”

Mikel Arteta told of William Saliba ‘mistake’ despite stellar Arsenal start