Four games into what will prove to be yet another challenging season, Mikel Arteta has set the tone for his approach to bedding in two of Arsenal’s most exciting signings of the post-Arsene Wenger era.
Joining the club last summer, William Saliba is yet to make a competitive start for the club, despite arriving in London early this summer to prepare for the upcoming campaign. He has featured in friendlies against MK Dons and Aston Villa as well as playing against Brighton for the Under-23s.
Signed early this month, Gabriel Magalhaes has had a more immediate introduction to life in the Arsenal first team. Just days after his move was made official, he made his debut against Fulham before impressing again, in a more physical test against Michail Antonio and West Ham.
Despite the Brazilian’s strong start to life in north London, he was dropped to the bench for the Premier League defeat to Liverpool. In doing so, Arteta surprised some across the Arsenal fanbase, but more importantly showed he understands patience is required before exposing his two young centre-backs to an environment where they may swim, but many have sunk.
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More seasoned than his new team-mate, Gabriel was in a better position to make an immediate impact on the side, even if his English led to moments of confusion like in the opening stages of his debut.
In the case of Saliba, however, with expectation from the outside so high giving him the luxury of time is something that has always been in the mind of Arteta.
“I think it’s going to take him [Saliba] some time to adapt to our way of playing but as well to get adapted to the language, the rhythm, the physicality of the country,” he said on September 11.
“As well we have to bear in mind that he didn’t play much football last season with all the injuries he…