William Saliba tipped for new shirt number as pundit says 4 Arsenal stars are set for exits

William Saliba enjoyed a dream debut for Arsenal
William Saliba enjoyed a dream debut for Arsenal

William Saliba, who made a brilliant senior debut for Arsenal in their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, could be set to receive a new shirt number.

The centre-back received plenty of praise from all quarters as he helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet and record a 2-0 win at Palace on August 5. According to the Express, he could now be set for a jersey change at the club.

Saliba, who arrived at Arsenal from AS Saint-Etienne for a reported fee of £27 million in 2019, spent the first three seasons away on loan in Ligue 1. He was extremely impressive during his spell at Marseille last season, where he sported the No. 2 jersey.

Upon returning to the Gunners squad this summer, he was handed the No. 12 shirt. His man-of-the-match performance on debut at Selhurst Park garnered plenty of praise from fans and critics alike.

William Saliba, man of the match on his first Premier League night after a top season in Ligue1… and key part of Arsenal project. ⚪️🔴 #AFC“He’s top, top player. You can see the progress”, Arteta said days ago and trusted him again.

He could now be given his preferred No. 2 jersey at the Emirates Stadium as well, with the Gunners reportedly set to part with four players this summer.

Hector Bellerin, who currently wears the No. 2 jersey, could be on his way out this summer. He spent last season on loan at Real Betis and helped the club win the Copa Del Rey.

Alongside Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Ainsley Matiland-Niles and Reiss Nelson could also be on their way out of the club,

Speaking to Football Insider, as reported by the Express, former Gunner Kevin Campbell said:

“I expect [Pablo] Mari and Bellerin to leave. Bellerin has been a good servant but there is no point keeping him when his time is up. Saliba wants his number two shirt as well. It is one of those things. It has to happen.”

He added:

“[Ainsley] Maitland-Niles is one I’m not sure on. It might be a loan move for him. Reiss Nelson might also have to leave on loan. He has looked alright in pre-season but the standards and levels at Arsenal are going up.”

Campbell concluded:

“You cannot carry dead wood. Some of these guys might be used as squad players and may well be the Hale End boys.”

Arsenal could be the real deal this season

After failing to secure UEFA Champions League football at the end of last season, Arsenal seem to be in much better shape this term.

⛅️ On Cloud No. 9🔴 Welcome to Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus

They have plugged some of the holes in their squad by making some quality signings to aid Mikel Arteta as he continues to develop as a manager. The Gunners looked impressive during their win against Crystal Palace.

Arteta's men will look for an even more comprehensive display when they take on Leicester City in their next Premier League match at the Emirates on August 13.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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