William Saliba has enjoyed a blistering start to his Arsenal career and John Barnes believes one factor has aided the Frenchman’s strong start.
THE LOWDOWN: EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS
William Saliba is already making the early mark and has seen his his stock grow exponentially since making his Arsenal debut.
After waiting for three years to make his first competitive start for the Gunners, the Frenchman has grabbed the chance with open arms and is already making a claim for a first-team berth.
Saliba has been very impressive in his first three senior appearances for Arsenal against Crystal Palace, Leicester City and more recently Bournemouth.
He was awarded the man-of-the-match in the opening game of the season against Palace. Despite scoring an own-goal against Leicester, he was still praised for his efforts in the 4-2 victory and even had fans cheer him on despite putting the ball in his own net.
Saliba is enjoying himself at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and and John Barnes believes one factor has helped the Frenchman’s stellar start.
THE LATEST: ATMOSPHERE HAS HELPED
Arsenal have the youngest age average in the Premier League (25) and the club’s transfer policy has centered around a certain profile.
This policy has helped build a strong bond between player’s off the pitch and Liverpool legend John Barnes believes a positive atmosphere has helped Saliba flourish early on.
Speaking to BonusCodeBets, Barnes explained why the Frenchman has enjoyed a promising start:
“He’s adjusted very well but I think Arsenal are playing with a lot of confidence which I think helps.”
“That’s why I feel sorry for Pepe for example. He came with a big reputation and for a lot of money. He went into an Arsenal team that was struggling. Now he’s struggling because it didn’t work for him.”
“If you come into a confident team and the teams playing well because you’re all good players. You’re not a bad player if you go to Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea. You have to find the environment that suits you.”
Arsenal are the only team with three wins from three so far and Saliba has played his part in that run.
Barnes added: “Saliba has come into a team that’s confident, well supported by the fans and they trust Arteta enough that if he puts you in the team that they’re going to support you no matter what, which has to happen to help young players.”
“Everything in the Arsenal team seems to be positive at the moment. Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, because in a struggling side young players can suffer because they haven’t got the experience to cope with disappointment and the fact things aren’t going well.”
“It’s worked out well for him.”
THE VERDICT: RIGHT ANALYSIS
Admittedly, a positive atmosphere has helped Saliba flourish but we can’t deny the fact that the 21-year-old has some immense quality of his own.
The Frenchman is showing maturity far above his age and he could yet become a starter under Mikel Arteta if he keeps up his performances.