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Arsenal legend Ian Wright rates William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus makes his debut | football


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Ian Wright was impressed by Arsenal’s win over Crystal Palace (Images: Getty)

Ian Wright praised the ‘fantastic’ Gabriel Jesus and the ‘magnificent’ William Saliba after they both made their debuts on arsenalopening day win over crystal Palace.

The Gunners, who finished fifth in the Premier League last season, began their 2022-23 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Patrick Vieira’s Palace at Selhurst Park.

Mikel Arteta’s side flew out of the blocks and took the lead in the 20th minute when Gabriel Martinelli headed home a good corner routine to register the first goal of the new campaign.

Crystal Palace rallied either side of half-time, but Arsenal were able to hold off the home side’s advances before ending the game thanks to a Marc Guehi own goal.

Jesus, Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko all made their debuts for the north London side and Wright was impressed with Arsenal’s performance as they signaled their intent for the season with a hard-fought win.

Asked to rate Saliba’s debut, Wright told Premier League Productions: ‘Magnificent. He was fantastic tonight. It looks like a new signing.

‘Mikel and Edu have to take a lot of credit for what they’ve done with this guy. This boy is someone we’ve always thought would be special.

Newcomer William Saliba was excellent for the Gunners (Picture: Getty)

“Even when he was released, there were fans asking for him to come back. Now he is a full international, he looks serene, calm, he has great rhythm.

“It’s a magnificent decision by Arsenal. It would have been easy to bring him back last year, but they gave him the extra season and now it looks like he’s been playing that position for years.

“At 21, going to Crystal Palace for the first game of the season and playing like that… you don’t want to get carried away, but that’s a performance thing.”

Saliba completed a £27m move to Arsenal in 2019 but was making his long-awaited debut for the Gunners, having spent the last two seasons on loan.

Jesus, meanwhile, was playing his first match with Mikel Arteta following a £45m move from Manchester City earlier in the summer.

Although the Brazilian did not get on the scoresheet, he also produced an impressive display, tormenting the Crystal Palace defense in the opening 45 minutes.

“It’s the link game, it’s the positions he takes, it’s the threat and the pressure,” Wright said of Jesus. ‘It looked fantastic.

“He is one of the best in closing, the Brazil coach has said it and Mikel has also said it.”

“He’s a great player and he’s something Arsenal needed, someone who can be a presence in and out of the box.” He continually caused trouble.

Gabriel Jesus has been going strong since joining from Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

‘He is going to score goals for us, you can see it. That is going to be a huge, huge bonus for Arsenal. He is a great addition to the team.

Arsenal manager Arteta also praised Saliba and Jesus after the Gunners secured all three points in south London.

‘For him [Saliba] playing his first Premier League game away from home against Palace, a real credit to the boy because he kept a great presence and a lot of composure,” Arteta said.

The ‘Jesus’ game is just a nightmare for defenders. He is electric, he never stops, he is always on your shoulder, he is ready to play with and without the ball and I am very satisfied with the performance of him.”

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