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Mikel Arteta singles out Arsenal defender for praise after Chelsea thrashing

William Saliba, Arsenal
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The Gunners boss is happy to have found a new defensive option for his squad.

Mikel Arteta has praised William Saliba for his brilliant performance in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

Saliba returned to the Emirates earlier this summer, following his successful loan spell at Marseille. Three years after his transfer from Saint-Etienne, Saliba seems ready to start kick-start his Arsenal career.

“I am really happy to see the way he is playing. The way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21 years old, carry on doing it,” Arteta said.

“We will keep developing him, he has a huge potential, he is already a top player and we have to make him even better.”

Asked if Saliba is ready to play as a senior player at Arsenal, he added: “He looked ready to me today.”

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It’s just a test match

Arsenal have scored 14 goals in their four pre-season games so far this summer. Victories over Nurnberg, Everton, Orlando City, and Chelsea have already raised expectations from Arteta’s improved squad. 

However, the Spaniard believes the Gunners are yet to reach their best form.

“As you could see there are a lot of positives to take from the game,” Arteta added. “The way we played, the intensity we showed, the way we were trying to show who we are as a team. 

“But at the same time, it’s just a test match. Don’t get carried away. There are still a lot of things that we have to get better at, and do better. 

“But I think it’s good to get some momentum, finish the tour in the right way, give some enjoyment to our fans and everybody that’s been contributing to make this tour happen. 

“Now it’s time to go back to London, to focus and keep making improvements and steps forwards.”