William Saliba has revealed that when he was on loan last season with Marseille he watched every Arsenal game so he could get to know his future teammates a little better.

Marseille's French defender William Saliba reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final second leg football match between Feyenoord and Olympique de Marseille (OM) Feyenoord stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam,on April 28, 2022. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s French defender William Saliba reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final second leg football match between Feyenoord and Olympique de Marseille (OM) Feyenoord stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam,on April 28, 2022. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

There has been much speculation around the future of William Saliba with the young defender seen as one of the hottest properties around.

Winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season award, Saliba’s value has finally reached the price Arsenal paid for him three years ago – £27m – that now sees him as the 5th ranked player in the world of those born in 2001 with only Jurrien Timber, Gabriel Martinelli, Rodrygo and Bukayo Saka ahead of him.

Speaking to the Arsenal website while on tour in the States with the rest of the squad, Saliba was keen to show he’s ready to fit in at the club.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“We [Saliba and Arteta] spoke a little bit on Monday and will speak more,” Saliba added. “My plan is to fight and work with the team, win as much as possible, and grow more.”

Arsenal play their third game of pre-season on Saturday night when they face Everton in the M&T Bank Stadium, the multi-purpose 70,745-seater home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

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