William Gallas sends message to William Saliba ahead of Arsenal return

William Gallas has some words of wisdom for William Saliba as the French defender prepares for his return to Arsenal

William Saliba Arsenal
William Saliba (Photo: Arsenal Media / YouTube / Screengrab)

William Saliba is facing a “step up” at Arsenal as he prepares for his first full season with the north London club.

The French defender first signed for the Gunners from Saint-Etienne back in the summer of 2019 but he has spent the last three seasons out on loan and is yet to make a competitive appearance for the north Londoners.

Speaking back in May, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed that the Gunners are preparing to welcome Saliba into their squad for next season as the north Londoners aim to challenge for a top-four finish.

Saliba, 21, enjoyed a sparkling season last term with Marseille, where he made 52 appearances in all competitions and helped them to finish in second place in the Ligue 1 table.

The defender was also handed his senior France debut earlier this year and has notched up five caps for his country since then.

With Saliba now seemingly poised to return to Arsenal and play his first full season with the north London club, former Gunners defender Gallas has warned the Frenchman that he is facing a step up in level at The Emirates.

Speaking in an interview with Metro, Gallas said: “He did well at Marseille. He had a great season with Marseille, but Arsenal and the Premier League is another level.

“I think he has to be patient, I’m sure Mikel Arteta will give him minutes to play and slowly, slowly he will be in the starting XI.

“What is very important for the young players is to be patient because if not you can get upset. If you are upset you don’t train properly, if you play on the weekend you won’t have as good a performance, so you have to be patient and know your time will come.

“When a manager puts you in the starting XI you have to be ready. That is the excuse sometimes for players, if you don’t play well in the starting XI, they can say they didn’t perform because they didn’t play very much. No! You should be ready, at the training ground you have to do more because you never know what could happen at the weekend.

“You could have a situation where maybe at the last moment you have to play, so if you don’t have a good session during the week, how can you be good at the weekend? That’s why you have to be patient.”

Saliba was originally loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign, before he was shipped out on loan to Nice in the following season. Last term was a record for the Frenchman in terms of total appearances, as he surpassed more than 50 senior games in one season for the first time in his career.

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