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Why signing William Saliba down to a new contract was so important for Arsenal

Arsenal have secured the long-term future of William Saliba.

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William Saliba
Image Credit: Getty Images

Arsenal have secured the long-term future of another player and this time it’s centre-back, William Saliba.

It was announced today that the frenchman has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal, keeping him at the Emirates Stadium until 2027. William Saliba follows in the footsteps of Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson in signing a new deal at the club in 2023.

Arsenal aren’t done there with Ben White and club captain, Martin Odegaard also expected to sign new deals next.

However signing William Saliba down to a new long-term is one of the most impressive of the lot and one of the best bits of business the club will do all summer. The 22-year-old was being heavily tracked by Real Madrid since January with reports being released that he wasn’t going to sign a new deal in North London.

After the 2022/23 impressive campaign he just had, William Saliba’s first choice was also to remain at Arsenal for the foreseeable future. Even with one of the biggest clubs in the world calling, in Real Madrid, the centre-back wanted to stay at the Emirates Stadium and continuing working under Mikel Arteta – that shows just how far the club has come in such a short space of time. The player always wanted to stay and Arsenal always wanted to keep him with the deal finally done.

William Saliba is here to stay at Arsenal. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

READ MORE: New Arsenal statue set to be unveiled outside the Emirates in August.

It’s no exaggeration when I say William Saliba is one of the best young defenders in the world right now and that’s why it was so important for Arsenal to secure his long-term future. The Frenchman’s season ended in February after he picked up a lower back injury in the defeat against Sporting. Arsenal were top of the league, eight points clear at the time but losing Saliba meant the Gunners lost their rhythm and ended up handing the advantage in the title race to Manchester City.

Who knows how it would have ended if William Saliba stayed fit but there’s no doubt Arsenal would have been closer to winning their first league title in 19 years, that’s for sure.

William Saliba started each of the first 27 games of the 2022/23 Premier League season, where Arsenal boasted an impressive 77.8% win percentage in that time. The Gunners kept 11 clean sheets and only conceded 25 goals. The Frenchman won possession in the defensive third more times (112) than any other player in the first 27 games of the league season, as per Squawka.

William Saliba and Gabriel built one of the most solid centre-back partnerships in the league last season, despite not being able to communicate in the same language. Even with the signings Arsenal will make this summer, with the arrival of Jurriën Timber and others, the pair are still expected to be the first-choice centre-back partnership for the 2023/24 campaign and that’s no surprise considering how well they performed together last season.

William Saliba on signing his new contract at the club: “I think we can achieve everything. Of course, it’s easy to say this, but we have the coach, we have the character, we have the players and every year the team gets stronger.”

“We have better players with a good mentality. We have a good experience from the last season as well. We know that the season is so long. So we are confident and we know we can do something good at this club.”

As William Saliba said in his contract announcement video, “I was born in North Paris, but I became a man in North London.” and Arsenal’s new number two is set to stay at the club for his long-term future.

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