William Saliba is the most important player at Arsenal. That was clear when Arteta lacked his services towards the end of last season. The Frenchman picked up a back injury in Arsenal’s game versus Sporting Lisbon; after that, nothing was the same. The stability and balance in Arsenal’s game went out the window; the defense struggled. In the four games after the Frenchman’s injury, the Gunners conceded more than ten goals, which was unfair for their title ambitions.
Thankfully, Saliba is fit and ready to go and has signed a new deal to secure his long-term stay at the Emirates. His teammates must be happy about that, as Gabriel Jesus has confirmed that the dressing room knows he is the squad’s most essential and irreplaceable player. He told the Denilson Show:
“When I got injured, Eddie [Nketiah] replaced me very well. Then we signed Leo [Trossard]. We kept the pace.
“But when [William] Saliba got injured, it was complicated. The other defenders are good, but we were playing in a certain way. Look at the stats; we concede a lot less with him.”
The prayer is that he can stay fit this time like Gabriel Magalhaes did last season. With the arrival of Timber, Arteta will now have a capable option without him, unlike last term. Arsenal’s midfield and defence will be imperious, considering how much attention has been put on their reinforcement this summer.