Arteta hails 'top player' Saliba as Arsenal humiliate Chelsea

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Mikel Arteta has hailed the pre-season performances of William Saliba following Arsenal's 4-0 drubbing of London rivals Chelsea in the Florida Cup.

Saliba returned to the north London side following the conclusion of an impressive loan stint with Marseille and, three years after splashing the cash to land him from Saint-Etienne, now looks set for an entry into the first-team.

Questions had been raised whether Saliba would remain at the club for the 2022-23 season, given the strong partnership of Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White, but Arteta's praise suggests he has a place for him within the squad.

"I am really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he's shown at 21-years-old, carry on doing it," he said after the game.

"We will keep developing him, he has a huge potential, he is already a top player and we have to make him even better."

Adding a clear verdict on where Saliba will fit into his plans, Arteta simply added: "He looked ready to me today."

Arsenal's win against Chelsea continues what has been a high-scoring pre-season for the Gunners so far, with 14 goals scored in four matches, but Arteta is adamant that there is still plenty to do.

"Yes but it was a friendly match. As you could see there are a lot of positives to take from the game," said Arteta. "The way we played, the intensity we showed, the way we were trying to show who we are as a team.

"But at the same time, it’s just a test match. Don’t get carried away. There are still a lot of things that we have to get better at, and do better.

"But I think it’s good to get some momentum, finish the tour in the right way, give some enjoyment to our fans and everybody that's been contributing to make this tour happen.

"Now it’s time to go back to London, to focus and keep making improvements and steps forwards."

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