- Saliba plays down Arsenal pressure
- In talks over contract extension
- Current deal runs until 2024
WHAT HAPPENED? The France international played a key role in Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday, which saw them extend their lead at the Premier League summit to eight points. The Gunners are chasing a first title success since 2003-04, and it has been suggested that a relatively young and inexperienced squad will struggle to stay the course. However, Saliba has no doubts that they can handle the growing weight of expectations at Emirates Stadium, and has urged his team-mates to maintain their current level as the fixture list continues to pile up.
WHAT THEY SAID: "There’s no pressure because we play for that," said Saliba. "It’s better to have this pressure when you are at the top than when you are down at the bottom. It’s better to keep going like this and we don’t have to have pressure.
"We are focused on ourselves. We are not focused on our rivals. We have to keep going like this and stay focused only on ourselves. It’s never enough. We know we have a lot of games to go. We have to be focused because things can change quickly."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saliba has been in talks with Arsenal over a new long-term contract since October, having proven himself to Mikel Arteta since returning from a loan spell at Marseille. The Gunners reportedly triggered the one-year extension options in both Saliba and Bukayo Saka's contracts last month, which will keep them at the club until at least 2024.
Saliba has reiterated that he sees his future at Arsenal beyond that, adding: "I am so happy here. The club is speaking with my agent and me, the only thing I can do is [focus on my football]. I am so happy here."
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta's men will face fellow title contenders Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 22.