Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Saliba reveals Arsenal contract talks following strong start to Premier League season

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Oct 2022

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Arsenal defender William Saliba has revealed he is in talks over a new contract at the Emirates Stadium after making a fine start to the season.

Having returned from a loan spell at Marseille ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, Saliba has started all eight of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, seven of which have ended in victory.

Saliba has formed a fearsome defensive partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes during Arsenal’s best start to a Premier League campaign since 2007-08 – when they went on to finish third after taking 22 points from their first eight matches.

The France international’s current deal runs until 2024, and he is hopeful of reaching an agreement to extend his stay.

Asked whether he could agree fresh terms after impressing in Saturday’s 3-1 derby win over Tottenham, Saliba said: “Yeah, we will see. They [the club and his representatives] talk a little bit.”

Saliba believes Arsenal are growing in confidence with each victory, adding: “You have to wait every time and I waited a long time for my first North London Derby. I enjoyed it from the first minute to the end, and now I am so happy.

“We are so happy to win at home against Tottenham. It was a hard game, but we were focused all the game. We deserve this win.

“We play against the best players in the world. It is good for young players like me, and I learn a lot.

“The more we win, the more we are confident. We want every week to win, to win, to win — and that’s it.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has watched Saliba’s development from close quarters in the season’s early weeks, and has described him as a “Rolls-Royce” of a defender.

“He has fit in really well,” Ramsdale said. “It is a credit to him that he has been put straight into the team. He is a bit of a Rolls-Royce with the way he moves, and he has never seemed fazed.

“He is still a young boy so still makes mistakes, so at the minute it is either Ben [White], myself, Gabriel or Thomas Partey digging him out and he is digging other people out as well.

“That is the main thing at the minute, our mistakes aren’t leading to too many things and that is the sign of a team who have good characters in and around that back five.”

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