William Saliba has explained how Mikel Arteta has helped him settle since returning to Arsenal this summer.
After spending last season on loan at Marseille, Saliba has come back to north London and established himself as an important player for them this campaign.
Saliba has admitted he’s glad he spent a year away to develop, and says the way he has seamlessly slotted into this Arsenal side is largely down to the help and advice of Arteta.
“We spoke a bit at the beginning of the season. He was happy with what I did whilst on loan. He’s a very good coach, who really knows what he’s doing,” Saliba told Canal Plus.
“He is clear in everything that he says. He has helped me integrate quickly into this system of play. Every day he gives advice to be better on the pitch.
“I came back here to impose myself and it’s nice to start well, as I have. We have had a very good start to the season until the match at Manchester [United]. We [were] first and we want to continue like that.
“As everyone knows, I didn’t play [before]. For me, it was better to go away. I’m a young player and it’s always better to play and gain experience, make errors and learn. If you don’t play, you can’t progress. For me, going away for a year-and-a-half was good. I came back stronger, with new ambitions.”
Saliba’s performances have made him something of a fan favourite at the Emirates Stadium already, and he says hearing them chant his name makes him stronger and more motivated.
“It makes me happy when the fans chant my name like that,” he added.
“Since the Bournemouth game, they’ve been singing it every match, and it gives me a lot of strength, and make me want to give something back by playing well and working hard.
“It’s sung in the dressing room every week, just to tease me a bit!”