Arsenal v Nottingham Forest: Pictures
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Arsenal have made a formal contract offer to defender William Saliba as they look to tie down the Frenchman at the club. The centre-back is seen as a crucial component of the club’s long-term blueprint under Mikel Arteta after quickly becoming one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League after breaking into the Gunners’ first team at the start of the season.
Saliba has been in excellent form since the beginning of the season helping Arsenal to keep six clean sheets during their surge to the summit of the English footballing pyramid. He has also scored twice in that time with many pundits and fans considering him to already be one of the best defenders in the league despite him still being inexperienced in the division.
During the summer there had been concerns that the 21-year-old would leave the Emirates permanently after three successive loan spells in Ligue 1 amid suggestions that he had fallen out with Arteta. However, this talk was quickly put to bed after Saliba became a mainstay within the backline from the very first game of the season.
Now, Arsenal have made the defender a formal offer to lengthen his stay, according to the Athletic. His current deal expires at the end of the season but the club have the option to automatically extend it by 12 months – but hopes are high that he will commit to the club in the even longer term, given the proposal that has been made to him.
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No agreement has yet been reached but talks between the player’s agent and the club will continue as Arsenal look to fend off interest in the player from some of Europe’s biggest clubs and help Arteta’s future plans.
Saliba spoke to the media following Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest this weekend and praised his team-mates for keeping a clean sheet, their first at home in the league this season.
“It’s a good day because we won and we won with five goals,” he told Viaplay. “We had a clean sheet today so it’s a good day for us. We enjoyed that.
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“It’s important. Especially for the strikers when they score in front of our fans and for us the defenders to keep a clean sheet. I think it’s the first one at home this season, so it’s important. We work together to make more clean sheets and more goals at home.”
Saliba will once again be at the heart of the Arsenal backline for the club’s important fixtures against FC Zurich in the Europa League and away at Chelsea in domestic action as he looks to help his team continue their fantastic start to the season.
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