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William Saliba says it's 'clear' that Arsenal could have won Premier League had it not been for injury

William Saliba says it's 'clear' that Arsenal could have won Premier League had it not been for injury

Arsenal defender William Saliba missed the end of last season through injury.

William Saliba says it was "clear" that Arsenal could have won the Premier League title last season had it not been for his injury.

For much of the 2022/23 campaign, Mikel Arteta's side were flying high at the Premier League summit. In fact, on January 18, Arsenal had an eight point lead over Manchester City.

The Gunners also recorded seven consecutive league wins between February 18 and April 1 but during that run, a serious injury to one of the club's best performers put a serious dent in their title charge.

William Saliba would miss two months of the season after picking up a muscle injury in his lower back during the first-half of their Europa League defeat to Sporting CP in March.

His absence was noticeable, to say the least. Rob Holding performed admirably in Saliba's place all things considered, but Arteta's men started to leak goals.

Having started every Premier League game before injuring his back, the impressive Saliba was arguably Arsenal's most important player alongside centre-back partner Gabriel.

Now, just months after they missed out on last season's league title, the French defender has admitted that his absence played a pivotal role.

“Yeah, it’s clear with me (fully fit), Arsenal could have been champions, but injuries are a part of football," he told French outlet Telefoot.

“Last year, I had a good season. Unfortunately, I got injured during the year and at the final sprint.”

He added: "It’s a new season with new ambitions and I hope that we can do even better."

Gunners forward Gabriel Jesus also believes the injury to Saliba played a crucial part in them missing out on their first Premier League title since 2004.

Speaking to YouTube channel Denílson Show – a podcast hosted by former Brazil international Denilson – the 26-year-old forward pinpointed the moment when Arsenal lost their grip in the Premier League title race.

As translated by Twitter user Renato, Jesus said: “When he [Saliba] plays, we concede few goals, when he doesn't play, the number (goals conceded) increases.

“When I got injured, Eddie replaced me very well. Then we signed Leo (Trossard). We kept the pace. But when Saliba got injured, it was complicated.

"The other defenders are good, but we were playing in a certain way. Look at the stats we concede a lot less with him."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@telefoot_TF1- Getty Images

Topics: Arsenal, William Saliba, Premier League, Manchester City