Arsenal sent encouraging message over £27m William Saliba by former teammate

Arsenal have been sent an encouraging message over young defender William Saliba with the 19-year-old still waiting for his first league appearance in a Gunners shirt.

Arsenal sent encouraging message over £27m William Saliba by former teammate
William Saliba will come good, according to a former teammate (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have been told William Saliba 'will succeed' if given the right amount of time and opportunity.

The Gunners signed the young centre-back for £27million last year but sent him back to Saint-Etienne on loan for his first year.

Ahead of this season, Saliba returned but he is still yet to get a look in, Mikel Arteta not yet including the 19-year-old in a single Premier League squad.

There was talk of him departing on loan ahead of the closure of the domestic transfer deadline earlier this month, but the Gunners decided to keep him despite the defender being unlikely to play much of a part ahead of January when the window reopens.

A lack of football may frustrate Saliba, but a former teammate has been in touch with his message of support, also telling Arsenal that Saliba will be a success if given time.

"Willow, I spoke to him. I told him to not get weighed down by it and to continue to work," Sliba's former Saint-Etienne teammate Harold Moukoudi told French outlet But! Football Club.

"It will pay off. With his qualities, I’m convinced he’ll bounce back.

"He’s got huge potential, no one can deny that. He needs to hang on, take it on the chin and sit tight, but he’ll succeed. That’s for sure."

Saliba caught Arsenal's attention in just 19 first-team appearances in Ligue 1 during the 2018/19 season, signing a five-year deal with the Gunners on the back of that campaign.

He then returned to France, racking up a further 12 league appearances last season as Saint-Etienne reached the final of the French Cup, eventually losing 1-0 to Ligue 1 champions PSG.