Arsenal have had a wonderful start to the season so far. The club are currently sitting top of the Premier League table, qualified for the Europa League knockout stages, and had a brilliant summer transfer window.
The positive results this season appear to be bringing the feel-good factor back to the Emirates and Mikel Arteta has a squad of genuine talent that, with a bit of luck and the right attitude, can win some silverware.
One of the brightest sparks this season has been Frenchman William Saliba, with Arteta getting the best out of him in an Arsenal shirt and it looks like the club have hit the jackpot with the defender.
Saliba actually joined the club under former manager Unai Emery back in 2019 from Saint-Etienne for a fee of £27m, a big risk for an unproven 18-year-old, and he was sent back to the French club for a season-long loan.
Another loan move to Nice for the 2020/2021 campaign followed but his stint at Marseille last season was arguably his breakthrough season.
The centre-back averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.06, playing in 36 league matches while averaging a staggering 95.5 touches per game, showing that he wanted to get involved as much as possible.
Saliba even won the Ligue 1 young player of the year award for his performances with Marseille and his next step was slotting into the heart of the Arsenal defence.
His ever-growing maturity has continued into this season, starting all ten Premier League matches for the club, with a 7.08 rating via SofaScore, chipping in with two goals and winning 64% of his total duels.
Following Arsenal’s match against Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the month, Rio Ferdinand praised the 6 foot 4 titan in the BT Sport studio (via Teamtalk) saying:
“He was the most composed centre-back on the pitch today – especially for Arsenal.” Ferdinand explained, and subsequently, his performances have led to his value rising.
The CIES Football Observatory now values Saliba at €60m (£52.2m) and it’s fair to say that this will keep on rising with every excellent performance.
Arsenal have certainly struck gold over the Frenchman; the onus is now on them to hold onto him for as long as possible.