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William Saliba provides insight to relationship with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta amid first team exile

William Saliba has opened up on life at Arsenal, admitting it’s a “dream” to play for the north Londoners.

The Gunners acquired the French centre-back’s services from Saint-Etienne last summer but immediately loaned him back to the Ligue 1 side.

Upon his return, Saliba was expected to be immediately thrown into the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, however, has opted against putting the 19-year-old immediately in the firing line.

In fact, the Spaniard has yet to hand the France Under-20 international a single appearance at the Emirates.

Willian Saliba has yet to feature for Arsenal this season

Despite not having taken to the pitch this campaign, Saliba is enjoying life as an Arsenal player and learning from Arteta.

It is a big dream [to play for Arsenal],” Saliba said in an interview with Ian Wright. “It was a big dream becoming a reality for me.

“[Mikel Arteta] is very positive. Sometimes he would send me a message when I was at Saint-Etienne. So it’s good.”

Tottenham Hotspur: 59

Arsenal: 16

Manchester United: 7

Chelsea: 3

Manchester City: 1

Liverpool: 0

Saliba’s enjoyment of his time at the Emirates partly stems from the relationship he’s struck up with French speakers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

“Yes it’s very good because I don’t speak good English at the moment. When I don’t understand something, Auba, Laca and the coach help me.”

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta recently shed light on his decision not to blood Saliba into the first team, saying: “I think William is doing really well. He is adapting to the country, adapting to our club.

“We have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that he had.

“But he is a player that is going to be really important in our future, things sometimes take some time and we have to respect that.”




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