Was this the turning point of Arsenal’s failed Premier League title bid last season?
William Saliba reckons his untimely injury last season played a pivotal role in Arsenal missing out on the Premier League title.
The 22-year-old was a revelation in his first full campaign at the Emirates. He formed a formidable partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes in central defense. Together, they helped Arsenal keep 12 clean sheets until fate intervened in March.
Arsenal, leading the pack ahead of Manchester City, saw their fortunes take a nosedive. Saliba sustained a season-ending back injury during a Europa League clash against Sporting CP.
“Last year, I had a good season,” Saliba said in an interview with TeleFoot.
“Unfortunately, I got injured during the year, in the final sprint. It’s clear that I was a little disappointed, but there you go, it’s a new season with new ambitions, I hope we will do better.”
Saliba’s absence coincided with Arsenal’s relapse at the end of the season. The Gunners won just five of their 11 remaining games (D3 L3), causing them to slip to second in the standings, five points behind winners City.
“It’s clear that with me, Arsenal could have been champions,” the Frenchman added.
“But now, injuries are part of football, and we are focused on this season.”
Arsenal will return to action on Tuesday in France to play Lens in a Champions League game.