Bournemouth - Arsenal (0-3) / "Je ne l'ai jamais vu faire ça" : William Saliba, un bijou pour couronner une masterclass

Bournemouth – Arsenal (0-3) / “Je ne l’ai jamais vu faire ça” : William Saliba, un bijou pour couronner une masterclass

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His performance was already remarkable. With an unexpected stroke, she became sublime. While Arsenal already had a break lead on Saturday at Bournemouth thanks to two early goals from Martin Odegaard, William Saliba signed a little gem to ensure the victory of the Gunners at the start of the second period (0-3). Served at the entrance to the surface by Granit Xhaka, the French defender took the ball back instantly with his left foot, finding the opposite corner with a delicious wrapped shot.

It is an understatement to say that he put the way to open his counter in the Premier League. Saliba thus became, at 21 years and 149 days, the youngest Frenchman to score for Arsenal in the Premier League since a certain Samir Nasri (21 years and 135 days, in November 2008). But the performance is all the more remarkable for a defender unaccustomed to finding the nets. Saliba had scored just one goal in all of his first four seasons with the pros. He has already equaled that total after just three Premier League days.

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The first surprised were his teammates. Starting with Oleksandr Zinchenko, on his knees after the Habs’ little gem. “JI’ve never seen him do that in trainingexclaimed the Norwegian leader Martin Odegaard at the microphone of the BBC after the meeting. It was a nice hit. I’m really happy for him. He had also been very good in the last game.“It was a win against Leicester (4-2) and Saliba also scored…but against his side.

“Impatient and eager to progress”

This misadventure had not tarnished the successful start to the season. He confirmed himself at Bournemouth, well beyond his goal. The former Marseillais notably posted a success rate of… 100% on his passes (76/76), a first for an Arsenal defender in the Premier League since the statistician Opta was able to analyze these figures (2003 -04). Also with five balls recovered, two interceptions, two duels won and two successful tackles, the Frenchman shone in all areas to sign a real masterclass.

Mikel Arteta appreciated. The Arsenal coach has not failed to highlight the involvement of his defender since his return from loan from Marseille this summer. It is reflected on the field at the start of the season. “Saliba trains every day to improve, he is so eager and eager to do so“, rejoiced the technician of the Gunners in remarks relayed by the BBC.He is a determined, focused and humble boyhe said already Friday in a press conference. He wants to get involved and be coached. The first impression we had of him (since his return from loan, Ed) was really positive. His body language, his presence, the confidence with which he acts, you can feel a real maturity.”

His performance against Bournemouth goes in this direction. After having systematically loaned his player since his signing in 2019 (Saint-Etienne, Nice then Marseille), Arsenal finally gave him a place in their team and Saliba was able to seize this chance. The Bondy native made a very clear contribution to the brilliant start to the season for the Gunners, winners of their first three league matches and provisionally installed at the top of the table. His goal, as spectacular as it was unexpected, is only the most beautiful symbol of this.

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