William Saliba ‘ready’ to make a big impact at Arsenal
Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel says that William Saliba is "ready" to make a positive impact at Arsenal
William Saliba is “ready” to make a positive impact at Arsenal next season, according to Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel.
The Gunners concluded a deal to land the highly-rated central defender last summer but opted to loan the teenager straight back to the French club for this season.
The 19-year-old defender was a regular fixture in the Saint-Etienne side this season, making 12 Ligue 1 appearances for the French side before the coronavirus pandemic struck in March.
Saliba is now preparing to link up with his new club in the summer as he looks to make a swift adaptation to the rigours of English football and challenge for a first-team spot under Mikel Arteta.
And his former manager Puel seems to be convinced that the French defender has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League with the Gunners.
Speaking in an interview with The Athletic, as quoted by the London Evening Standard, Puel said: “He is ready.
“He is a fantastic player. He is a young player but with a lot of maturity in his play. Also, in his life. He is a player with a good feeling and spirit.
“It will be hard for us without him but I think it is a fantastic opportunity for Arsenal.
“I think they need a good centre-back and have done for some time, and I think William is the right player.
“I think he can play all the time in the first team at Arsenal.”
Arsenal currently find themselves down in ninth place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC with a game in hand.
The north London side have struggled to challenge for the Premier League in recent years and have not won the title since their famous unbeaten triumph back in 2003-04.