Arsenal manager has explained why he has not thrown William Saliba in at the deep end at London club. U20 France international has been tipped for big things at Arsenal and has impressed during his time at St Etienne.
Gunners supporters were forced to wait an extra year to see him play in English football after signing William as he was immediately loaned back to the French club and they have been left waiting further with the Spanish manager deciding against picking him for their PL games with Fulham and West Ham.
Saliba was an unused substitute for the Community Shield victory over Liverpool but hasn’t been included in either matchday squad in the PL, however, he could be in line to make his debut against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.
And Mikel admitted that he was planning to ease the Frenchman in slowly as he adapts to his new surroundings, something he thinks will take time despite believing the defender will be ‘really important’ to Gunners future. ‘I think William is doing really well,’ the Spanish boss said of the 19-year-old centre-back ahead of the Leicester City clash.
‘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 number 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.’
The Spanish manager is adamant that both William Saliba and fellow new defender Gabriel Magalhaes will both learn a lot from teaming up with experienced Gunners centre-back David Luiz.