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‘For me, he’s the best!’ – Gabriel singles out William Saliba for praise after superb Arsenal debut

  • August 08, 2022
William Saliba impressed on his Arsenal debut (Picture: Getty)

Gabriel singled out William Saliba for praise after his impressive Arsenal debut against Crystal Palace, describing his centre-back partner as ‘the best’.

Saliba made his long-awaited debut for Arsenal in the Premier League curtain-raiser against Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Frenchman produced an assured display to help Mikel Arteta’s side keep a clean sheet and clinch a 2-0 victory thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half header and Marc Guehi’s second-half own goal.

Saliba was named Player of the Match by Jamie Carragher, who along with fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville raved about the 21-year-old defender.

Gabriel was also impressed by his team-mate’s performance, telling the Evening Standard: ‘For me, he’s the best! He’s very young, very promising and a very good player.

‘I am so happy to play with him, together. He has now started in the Premier League and he was so good.

‘The team did very well. They showed intensity and everyone stayed together. It’s very difficult to play here, but our keeper was strong.

Gabriel is enjoying playing alongside Saliba (Picture: Getty)

‘I believe in this team and it was very good. We got a clean sheet and three very good points.’

Saliba joined Arsenal in 2019 but was yet to feature for the club as he spent the last two seasons out on loan.

Arteta gave him his debut at Selhurst Park, however, and was also taken aback by his composed performance in the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

‘You don’t really see that, at 21 years old, debut in the Premier League, against this opponent, against physical players – and resolve that situation the way he has done it,’ Arteta said.

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‘With that composure, with that calmness and with that presence. So big credit to the boy. I wanted to let him be and let him play, that’s the way we have tried to develop that player.

‘To sign him at 18-years-old and bring him back two years later is something unusual and he has been so determined and willing to come here and now proved the point that he is ready.

‘Now we are exposing the player in a really difficult environment where he can navigate and enjoy it and be comfortable.’

Arsenal will look to make it six points from six when they face Leicester City at the Emirates on Saturday.

MORE : Alexis Sanchez becomes latest former Arsenal star to join Olympique Marseille

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