'I will be back to my best soon' - William Saliba vows to rediscover form at Arsenal
- Started season excellently
- Suferred drop-off in form post-World Cup
- Knows he must work to get back to his best
WHAT HAPPENED? Saliba was an absolute revelation for the Gunners prior to the World Cup interval, becoming a defensive linchpin for Arteta's side and getting himself a rather catchy song from the Arsenal faithful. That hasn't really changed as he's started every Premier League game this season, missing just 14 minutes of top-flight action. However, he's admitted that his post-World Cup performances haven't matched up to the levels he showed before heading to Qatar with France. It's a period of form that he feels isn't going to last much longer.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Sky Sports, the defender said: "I went to the World Cup, I didn't play, but it's okay - I still smile. It was my first experience. I am young and to be in this France squad is so hard, so I was happy. It makes me hungry to be in the next tournament.
"We lost that final, unfortunately, but we will be back. Then I came back and I have this little period where I didn't play my best. I know I have to work, to get back [to my levels]. I know when I play [well] and when I play [poorly]. We are lucky here, I have the coaches to help me grow. They sit me down and say, 'This one was good, this was bad... you need to improve here'.
"If I am bad, I am bad. I don't say, 'Yes, this is my first season in the Premier League'. I will be back to my best soon, but I have to work."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: This campaign is the first one that has seen Saliba feature heavily in the Arsenal side. Signed by Unai Emery for around £27m back in 2019, the Frenchman was quickly back in his native country and his former club as Saint-Etienne took him on loan for the 19/20 campaign. Two more loans would follow, first to Nice in 2021 and then to Marseille in 21/22, before Saliba burst onto the Premier League scene earlier this season.
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WHAT NEXT FOR SALIBA? The Frenchman is set to start once again for the Gunners when they travel to Leicester later today.