It looks fairly likely that we won’t be seeing Arsenal defender William Saliba playing for the first team in the Premier League any time soon, following manager Mikel Arteta‘s comments about the player after yesterday’s 3-0 win over Fulham.
The Frenchman did not even make the matchday squad and, asked about the omission following the victory at Craven Cottage, Arteta cited no less than five factors. He has yet to adapt to the Spaniard’s style of play, he can’t yet cope with the physicality of English football, he lacks match sharpness after a year of injury problems which consequently means he doesn’t have the rhythm required to start matches, while he also needs to improve his English:
“I think it’s going to take him [Saliba] some time to adapt to our way of playing but as well to get adapted to the language, the rhythm, the physicality of the country. As well we have to bear in mind that he didn’t play much football last season with all the injuries he had. So, I think it will be a process that we have to be patient, picking the right games with the right environment and trying to grow because he [Saliba] has a really good potential.”
It’s a pretty comprehensive explanation, but the only way he can progress in some of those areas is by playing matches. Fans should probably expect to see him make his debut in the Carabao Cup tie against Leicester City on Tuesday week.