Fixing defensive issues is the priority for Mikel Arteta as he looks to build on to Arsenal‘s bittersweet 19/20 season.
Although Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin’s return from injuries did help solidify the backline towards the end of the season, the problem remained at the heart of the defence. The centre-back pairing of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi was way too error-prone for the club’s liking.
Therefore, the Gunners were quick to act in the market to finalize the deal with their prime defensive target, Gabriel Magalhaes. The Lille defender is expected to be announced as an Arsenal player in the coming days.
The Brazilian is heavily touted to be the key to fixing the leaky Gunners defence.However, it was another former Ligue 1 star that grasped the attention of the Arsenal faithful as a possible centre-back solution in the club’s recent pre-season friendly against League One side MK Dons.
William Saliba, who returned from a season-long loan from Saint-Étienne, impressed at the back for Arsenal during his 45-minute appearance on the pitch.
The young centre-back looked comfortable with the ball on his feet and had an overall solid defensive presence throughout. He capped off his first minutes in the Arsenal red with a fine pass to unleash Cedric Soares in the build-up to Arsenal’s second goal.
Many fans on Twitter were impressed by the Frenchman and praised him for showcasing the “composure well beyond his years”, while others looked forward to a potential partnership between him and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Check out Saliba’s highlights from the game below –