Arsenal star William Saliba has quickly become a popular player at the Emirates Stadium, with his excellent performances last season earning him some recognition.

The 22-year-old finally appeared in an Arsenal shirt at the start of last season after a number of loan spells away, and was an instant hit, helping Mikel Arteta’s side challenge for the title.

He has already established himself as one of the Premier League’s best defenders and was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka.

Speaking to Arsenal media ahead of the awards ceremony, Saliba admitted that whilst it was nice to be recognised for his performances, the team must continue to improve this season.

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“It’s a good thing, that means I worked a lot last season, but it means nothing, we have work again to be here every year,” he stated of his Team of the Year nomination.

Saliba’s strong impact

It’s astonishing how quickly Saliba settled at Arsenal last season. The France international was named as the man of the match on his Premier League debut away at Crystal Palace, and that was a sign of things to come.

The perfect centre-back for Mikel Arteta’s system, Saliba’s incredible composure and passing ability, combined with his strength in the air and defensive reliability, makes him stand out amongst his peers, and at his young age, his progress has been remarkable.

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Saliba was a crucial player for Arsenal last season, but he picked up a long-term injury in March, which further highlighted his importance to the team.

Arsenal saw their title challenge collapse in the absence of Saliba, and there was a ripple-effect throughout the whole side as they lost his ability to play in a high line and distribute the ball from deep positions.

Now he is back and fully firing, there will be plenty more to come from him this season.

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