William Saliba’s Arsenal career will finally start this season.
The youngster arrived at the Emirates Stadium last summer, but was immediately loaned back to former club Saint-Etienne in order to continue his development.
And following an impressive 2019/20 campaign in Ligue 1 – which ended earlier than expected – Saliba will be involved in the first-team picture under Mikel Arteta this term.
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He gave supporters a glimpse of his quality in a pre-season friendly win over MK Dons last month and was on the bench for last weekend’s Community Shield win over Liverpool.
With just a week until the new Premier League season gets underway, there’s every chance Saliba could make his competitive debut for the Gunners against Fulham.
Before the short trip to Craven Cottage, the teenager can only stake his claim for a starting berth by impressing the head coach in training.
And it would appear he’s getting some help in doing so.
As spotted by Arsenal fans, Saliba walked out for training this week alongside captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and compatriot Alexandre Lacazette.
All of which has prompted a theory that he is being mentored by the strike duo.
“Auba and Laca taking Wilo under their wing!,” @AFCTalk0 noted on Twitter, while @Ifegunners had an interesting observation: “Guendouzi successfully replaced.”
Another Arsenal player looking to forge a close bond with Saliba is £25m summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes who has talked up a long-term partnership with the Frenchman.
“It is a dream,” Gabriel told Arsenal.com. “I’m living a dream right now, to play for this club with such a massive history and all its achievements.
“Everything there is to achieve and I am very happy to be here. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I am glad to be here and I can’t wait to play with my new teammates.