‘The Saliba effect’ – These Arsenal fans are getting excited after defender’s St Etienne display – Football.London

It is now two Ligue 1 appearances and two clean sheets since William Saliba returned to action for St Etienne this season.

The defender, who joined Arsenal for £27million in the summer transfer window, returned to St Etienne on loan to continue his development.

But he has had a belated start to the season due to injury, with Saliba undergoing surgery in August to solve an abductor problem, which kept him out of action for up to six weeks.

 

He returned to action last weekend as St Etienne faced Nimes in Ligue 1, with the Arsenal defender coming off the bench late on to help preserve the clean sheet and protect a 1-0 lead.

St Etienne did just that as they claimed all three points in that game, and Saliba then started in midweek as the French side faced Wolfsburg in the Europa League.

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Saliba played the full 90 minutes in that game as it finished 1-1, and he was named in the starting line-up again this evening (Sunday) for a vital derby clash with Lyon.

And St Etienne kept another clean sheet as they moved off the bottom of Ligue 1 with victory in former Southampton and Leicester City boss Claude Puel’s first game in charge, since taking over this week.

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Saliba was solid in defence for St Etienne, although he was perhaps relieved to see the offside flag go up as Houssem Aouar’s goal was ruled out, after the ball was played over the top of the Arsenal defender, before a fine finish from the Lyon man.

But St Etienne struck the only goal of the game late on, with Robert Beric coming off the bench to net the winner in the 90th minute to lift his side off the bottom of the league.

Here’s what some Arsenal fans made of Saliba’s performance.

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