After coming off a campaign that saw him crowned Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year, William Saliba is aiming for even bigger things in 2022/23.
The defender linked up with his Gunners teammates earlier this week before being quickly whisked away on tour to the USA, and is hoping the next few weeks will allow him to show Mikel Arteta the form that saw him impress many during his loan spell at Marseille last term.
Speaking from Baltimore, where the team are preparing for Saturday’s clash with Everton, the 21-year-old reflected on the past 12 months, saying: “I had a good season last season. We finished second in the table and I had some good moments and learned a lot, and I hope this season will be better than that.
“I was very proud [to win the Young Player of the Year award] because the league has a lot of good young players, so it’s good for me but I want more.”
Saliba will be hoping to see some action during his time Stateside, and admits that he kept up-to-date on all his parent club’s matches during his time back in his homeland to hopefully aid his cause in making a name for himself in the Premier League, as well as repay our supporters who followed his progress closely from afar.
“When I was on loan I watched every single [Arsenal] game because when I was there some players weren’t. I watched the games to see how they played, so when I was back it would be easier to play with those I hadn’t met before.
“It’s important that the fans are behind you, and I like it very much. I can’t wait to give back to them.”
The former Saint-Etienne man is part of a squad being put through their paces with some intense training sessions in the Baltimore heat by Arteta, whom he admits he is in close contact with.
“We spoke a little bit on Monday and will speak more,” Saliba said. “My plan is to fight and work with the team, win as much as possible, and grow more.
“It feels good to be back and starting pre-season. I’m so excited to continue training and playing in the friendly games. It’s important to be here with the fans, as well as my teammates. I hope we’ll enjoy some good training and games which is important before the start of the season.”
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