ARSENAL newboy William Saliba started for the club's under-23s today in a 3-3 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League 2.
First team players Cedric Soares, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson were also in the starting XI for Steve Bould's side.
Saliba received a first-half yellow card as the young Gunners conceded three goals within the first hour before a thrilling comeback to snatch a point.
Arsenal fans took to social media to share their reactions to the reserve team's lineup.
One responded: "Cedric, Saliba, Nelson, Rowe must prove they deserve PL action by performing here first."
ARSENAL NEWS LIVE: Click here for the latest Gunners news
Another tweeted: "As long as Saliba is getting some minutes, I'm happy."
Others chose to look forward to the first team's match with Manchester City this evening, and the possible debut of new signing Thomas Partey.
One tweeted: "No Willock [in squad to face City] meaning Partey will either start or at least be on the bench."
Saliba, a £27million signing from Saint-Etienne last summer, spent 2019-20 on loan at the French side and was tipped for another loan spell away from the Emirates during the transfer window.
However, a return to France failed to materialise and it was decided the 19-year-old would stay with the Gunners until at least January, despite interest from Fulham, Brentford and Watford.
ESPN claims Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants Saliba to improve his decision-making and defending of set-pieces before incorporating him into the first team.
Arteta has even publicly suggested the Frenchman would need an additional year of transition to make the jump up to the Premier League after seeing his 2019-20 season disrupted by injury and Ligue 1 ended prematurely.
First team players like Cedric, Willock and Nelson – who was on the scoresheet against United – were likely included to maintain sharpness ahead of possible rotation for the start of Arsenal's Europa League campaign on Thursday.
Academy graduate Emile Smith-Rowe was also in the lineup having failed to secure a loan move but Arteta is known to be a fan which could see the midfielder given an opportunity to impress in midweek.
Source: Read Full Article