The Lowdown: Saliba an Arsenal regular
After three loan spells away from north London, the 21-year-old has returned to the Emirates Stadium and has established himself as a mainstay in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.
The France international has played every minute of Premier League football so far this season, a record he maintained today, having impressively averaged a 7.03 match rating in his opening seven games in the English top-flight and scored in this afternoon’s 3-0 win at Brentford.
The Latest: Contract talks
According to 90min, Arsenal technical director Edu is keen to tie down Saliba with a new contract at the Emirates, following reports that fellow Gunners star Bukayo Saka is also close to extending his stay with the club.
O’Rourke believes that the defender is fully deserving of a new contract after a brilliant start to the season.
Speaking with GiveMeSport about the French youngster, the journalist claimed: “I’m sure the club will want to sit down with him and discuss an improved contract as a reward for his progress.
“And I’m sure Saliba will just be hoping to concentrate on his football and see where the contract talks take him in the end. But I think he’ll be fully deserving of a new contract if that’s what Arsenal are planning to do.”
Happy with new deals for Saka, Saliba and Martinelli?
The Verdict: Huge potential
When looking at the Frenchman’s underlying statistics, it is surprising to see such strong numbers going forward.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, the centre-back ranks in the top 1% for passes attempted, the top 3% for pass completion, the top 4% for dribbles completed and the top 5% for progressive carries.
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As a result, Saliba has earned stylistic comparisons to the likes of Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez and Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji.
Having been hailed as ‘superb’ by Arteta himself, it would be no surprise to see the 21-year-old pen a new deal with the Gunners, with the player most definitely included in the manager’s long-term plans at the club judging by his abundant game-time of late.
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