February 7, 2023

William Saliba produced one of the best performances to debut in Premier League history as Arsenal kicked off their new campaign with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Friday night.

Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring after 20 minutes, before Marc Guihi crossed from Bukayo Saka to seal the three points five minutes from the end.

New signings of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, both of whom made their Arsenal debuts after joining from Manchester City in the summer.

But it was Saliba, a £27m addition from Saint-Etienne in 2019, that made the biggest impression.

Until his exit against Crystal Palace, the 21-year-old had not played a minute for Arsenal and instead spent the last three seasons on loan in his native France.

Little did she know, however, that he was going to come out of his mature show against Palace, as he really looked like a new signing.

Playing in central defense alongside Gabriel Magalhaes, he was incredibly composed whenever Palace posed a threat – he finished the match with 100% goals complete, 100% aerial fencing success, 94% passing accuracy, seven recoveries and six breaks.

Nor did he make a single foul, instead turning out a perfectly clean tackle to fend off Wilfried Zaha inside the penalty area in the second half.

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