William Saliba extends his stay with Arsenal, signs long-term contract

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LONDON: Arsenal’s French defender William Saliba has extended his stay with North London club after signing a long-term contract extension with the club on Friday.

The 22-year-old was an integral part of the Gunners 2022/23 campaign as he made 33 appearances in all competitions and found the back of the net three times and provided one assist from his centre-back position.

Saliba also made eight senior international appearances, and his impressive performances also helped him to earn a place in the France squad for the Qatar World Cup 2022 last December.

The central defender joined Arsenal on a permanent deal from the French club Saint-Etienne in July 2019. He ended up spending the 2019/20 season back on loan with the Ligue 1 side.

Saliba started the 2020/21 campaign with silverware in his name when Arsenal lifted the 2020 FA Community Shield win over Liverpool.

However, he spent the second half of the 2020/21 season on a short-term loan deal.

The French defender returned to France for the 2021/22 season in order to gain further on-field experience. He joined Marseille on a season-long loan deal and ended up featuring for the club 52 times. He made appearances in four different competitions and ended up becoming a central figure in the team.

Arsenal’s Sporting Director Edu Gaspar expressed his delight at Saliba’s contract extension and said as quoted by www.arsenal.com, “We are so happy to have signed a new deal with William Saliba. William is part of our vision to keep our talented young players, who will hopefully be successful with us for many years to come so that we can grow and progress together. I know the supporters will be just as happy as we are to see William continue with us in the future.”

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta also came forward and shed a few words on Saliba’s contract extension and said, “To have William extend his contract with us was something we have wanted to do for a long time. William proved last season just how good and how important he is to our squad.”

“The ability he has at his young age of just 22 is exciting, and there is of course so much more room for development with any player at this stage of their career. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with William in the years to come,” Arteta signed off.

Saliba has inherited a new shirt after signing the contract extension, He will be taking up the number 2 for the 2023/24 season. (ANI)

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