Arsenal centre-back William Saliba has discussed how the new summer arrivals have settled in at the club.
Four new first team players were welcomed to the Emirates Stadium this summer. Arsenal signed Declan Rice from West Ham United, Kai Havertz from Chelsea, Jurrien Timber from Ajax, and David Raya on an initial loan deal from Brentford.
Despite having initially joined Arsenal in a £27 million deal from Saint-Etienne in 2019, William Saliba only made his debut for the club last summer, having spent the preceding three seasons on loan with Saint-Etienne, Nice, and Marseille.
As such, last season will have felt like his first at Arsenal. In a recent interview with the north London club’s official website, the 22-year-old centre-back said, “of course when I was on loan, I was not here every day, so you are not as close to everyone and part of the group. That’s normal. But as soon as you get here, you feel you are part of the team, and you are part of the family.”
The 10-cap France international now feels settled at Arsenal and has praised the environment that Mikel Arteta has cultivated. Saliba said, “I’ve felt like more a part of the family since I came here after the loan spells, and that’s how it is here. There’s a great feeling here and football is like that anyway.”
The £190,000-a-week ace is certain that Arsenal’s summer recruits will benefit from the atmosphere at the club, saying, “every year new players come into the group, and the others make them feel welcome. It’s the same this year too. New players have joined, we did not know them before, but you help them become part of the family. You learn about everyone, about every culture…Every day we have a laugh, we have a joke, we like being round each other, but when we are on the pitch we go hard and we are serious.”
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New arrivals set up for success at Arsenal
Saliba has been hugely impressive for Arsenal since his integration into the first team. His performances last season were recognised, as he was named in the 2023 PFA Team of the Year. Fans will be delighted to learn that he feels so comfortable and welcome at the Emirates Stadium, as he has the potential to be an elite defender for many years to come, and the Gunners will be desperate to keep him at the club.
It will be equally promising to learn that the club is well set up to ensure that new arrivals feel warmly welcomed. This ought to minimise the time it takes for new signings to adjust and acclimatise to life at Arsenal.
Rice has already made an impressive start to his Arsenal career, now Havertz must start proving his worth.