William Saliba has revealed how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have helped him break the language barrier following his move to Arsenal.
Arsenal agreed a deal with Saint-Etienne to sign Saliba in the summer of 2019 but he returned to the French club on loan for the following season.
Saliba linked up with his new Arsenal team-mates last summer and was handed the No 4 shirt on his arrival in north London.
Despite being a highly-rated young defender, Saliba is yet to feature for the Gunners and Mikel Arteta considered loaning him out last month to aid his development.
The 19-year-old ended up staying at the Emirates and will hope to force his way into Arteta’s plans over the coming weeks.
While Saliba is yet to make an impression for Arsenal, he has the support of his Gunners team-mates and says Aubameyang and Lacazette have helped him greatly over the past few months.
Asked whether it has helped having fellow French-speaking players in the squad, Saliba said in an Adidas interview with Ian Wright: ‘Yes it’s very good because I don’t speak good English at the moment.
‘When I don’t understand something, Auba, Laca and the coach help me.’
The teenaner added: ‘It is a big dream [to play for Arsenal]. It was a big dream becoming a reality for me.
‘[Mikel Arteta] is very positive. Sometimes he would send me a message when I was at Saint-Etienne. So it’s good.’
Earlier in the month, Arsenal hero Martin Keown said Saliba’s situation was a ‘mystery’ and questioned the club’s ‘bizarre’ handing of the defender.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Keown said: ‘It’s bizarre. We’ve just not seen the kid.
‘You want to see him to see how he performs say in the Championship to see if he’s good enough.
‘I’m anxious to see. The feeling was that this was going to be the one. Gabriel has come in and been an outstanding signing.
‘Maybe they feel he’s too young and want him to go out to pastures new.
‘To then loan him out when there was a real problem there last season seems a real mystery.’
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