The Frenchman earned the attention of Mikel Arteta & co after his impressive loan spell at Marseille last season. The centre-back was so good that he won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and even got into the Ligue 1 Team of the Year lineup.
Saliba easily outperformed some of the league’s best defenders and forced Arsenal to fit him into their plans for the 2022/23 season.
Unfortunately for Arteta, however, he did not have to buy another centre-back and could use those funds for someone else – like a new dynamic left-back in the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Despite concerns over whether he can adapt to the intensity of the Premier League or not, Saliba quickly put all those doubts to rest.
He helped them keep six clean sheets in the first 15 league games of the season and maintain the second-best defensive record as well.
The 21-year-old is widely recognized as one of the best young defenders in world football and has Arsenal scrambling to extend his contract – which expires next year.
Despite being a relatively popular player among fans – both Arsenal and those of other clubs – Saliba still seemed to be unknown to the developers of FIFA 23.
When the game was first released last year in September, Saliba’s facial appearance shocked fans.
Normally, the players for the top teams in FIFA all have their faces scanned and have a near-perfect look in the game.
So fans were left bemused when the French centre-back was given a very generic appearance and looked nothing as he does in real life.
EA Sports were put under heavy pressure after failing to update his appearance in their January squad update – where they gave face-lifts to the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira.
It appears that they have finally gotten the full body scan of Saliba and have made the necessary changes to make him look like himself in the game. The French defender has the ideal facial features, including his goatee which many fans have liked as well.
Saliba’s new look is absolutely a massive upgrade from his previous game models.
One specific model which some fans were able to get a peek at had him completely bald and with the most generic face that looked like a child had designed it – infuriating Gooners all around.
The 21-year-old has an average rating of 82 in FIFA 23 and a potential of 89 – making him one of the most wanted young defenders for career mode.
But nobody likes players with the most generic of faces, which is why Saliba’s transformation in the game is likely to please a lot of fans.
But some Arsenal fans now want EA Sports to work on the appearances of some of their other players too.
Ben White, for one, does not have an ideal character model in FIFA 23 and does not look like himself at all. Mikel Arteta also had an awful model, but EA Sports received his face scan and improved his manager model recently as well.
With Arsenal roaring in their charge for a Premier League title, their popularity in FIFA is also likely to soar. That is why EA Sports probably needs to be quick in getting the face scans of every single of their players and avoid even more fan backlash going forward.