Arsenal defender William Saliba admits he had a ‘lazy’ and ‘sulky’ attitude before his move to north London.
The 22-year-old joined the Gunners as an 18-year-old in the summer of 2019, however, fans were forced to wait three years for him to make his debut. But he’s been worth the wait.
Saliba, who recently featured in the PFA Team of the Year for his performances in 2022/23, had previously started out as a striker.
The Frenchman then switched into becoming a centre-back, after getting into trouble with coaches.
“I wanted to score in every game, but I wouldn’t say I was a selfish player,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“Some strikers are selfish, but I also looked for my teammates too.
“I have to be honest though, and say I was a lazy player. Yes I was lazy, and also I would sulk quite a lot. My manager would always tell me off for sulking, for being lazy in training.
“This is maybe why I wasn’t captain! As I said, I was young in my head, but then I grew up. My coaches helped me a lot at that age. I realised how you had to be on the pitch and I changed.”
Saliba, who was drafted into the latest France squad for his nations European qualifiers and featured in the 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on Thursday, also touched on the togetherness at Arsenal.
“You learn about everyone, about every culture,” he added.
“You get to learn a lot about new cultures, and I like it when people come to me as well and ask about France.
“Maybe they are going on holiday to Paris, or the south of France and they speak to me about it.
“We have very good atmosphere here. Every day we have a laugh, we have a joke, we like being round each other, but when we are on the pitch we go hard and we are serious.
“It’s important to have both, you cannot do one without the other.”
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