Mikel Arteta thinks David Luiz is the perfect person to have around for the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes as they adapt.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 08, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND: William Saliba of Arsenal passes the ball during a training session on September 08, 2020. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

With William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes joining Arsenal this summer, the defensive duo needed someone to take them under their wing, and Mikel Arteta thinks David Luiz is the perfect man for the job.

“I think he is a really good role model for them,” Arteta said. “For who David is as a person and as a player and everything he has achieved in the game – I think they are lucky to have him around.”

As for Saliba specifically, the defender is still waiting on his Arsenal senior debut. He made the squad for the Community Shield, but sat out of the first two Premier League games and featured for the u23s instead.

Arteta doesn’t have anything against the 19-year-old, explaining that he’s just easing the centre-back in while he adapts from a tough season in France and a lot of time off since then.

“I think William is doing really well. He is adapting to the country, adapting to our club. We have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that he had.

“But he is a player that is going to be really important in our future. Things sometimes take some time and we have to respect that.”

I’d say Arteta is making the right call on Saliba. It was easy to get caught up in the hype last season, while he was playing well for Saint-Etienne and Arsenal’s defending was often diabolical. But he’s still a teenager who needs to settle with the pressure off.