Arsenal legend Ian Wright reviews William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus debuts | Soccer

Ian Wright was impressed by Arsenal's opening win over Crystal Palace

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

Ian Wright praised the “fantastic” Gabriel Jesus and the “amazing” William Saliba after the two made their debuts in Arsenal’s opening-day win over Crystal Palace.

The Gunners, who finished fifth in the Premier League last season, started their 2022/23 season with a 2-0 win over Patrick Vieiras Palace at Selhurst Park.

Mikel Arteta’s men flew off the blocks and took the lead after 20 minutes when Gabriel Martinelli headed home from a clean corner practice to score the first goal of the new season.

Crystal Palace rallied both sides at half-time but Arsenal held off the home side’s forays before the game ended 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 by Arsenal’s performance as they signaled their intention for the season with a hard-fought win.

When asked to rate Saliba’s debut, Wright said of Premier League productions: “Great. He was fantastic tonight. He looks like a newcomer.

“Mikel and Edu have to take a lot of credit for what they did with this guy. This guy is someone we always thought was special.

Debutant William Saliba was outstanding for the Gunners

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

“Even when they loaned him out, fans were urging him to come back. He’s a full international now, he looks composed, calm, he’s got a great pace.

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

“To go to Crystal Palace for the first game of the season at 21 and play like that… you don’t want to get carried away but it’s an achievement.”

Saliba joined Arsenal for £27million in 2019 but made his long-awaited debut for the Gunners after spending the last two seasons on loan.

Jesus, meanwhile, played his first game under Mikel Arteta after making a £45million move from Manchester City earlier in the summer.

The Brazilian may not have been a top scorer but he also produced an impressive display and plagued Crystal Palace’s defense in the first 45 minutes.

“It’s the connection play, it’s the positions he takes, it’s the threat and the pressing,” Wright said of Jesus. “He looked fantastic.

“He’s one of the best when it comes to finishing, that’s what the Brazilian manager said and Mikel said it too.

“He’s a great player and it’s something Arsenal have needed, someone who can have a presence in and out of the box. He always caused problems.

Gabriel Jesus has hit the ground running since moving from Manchester City

Gabriel Jesus has hit the ground running since moving from Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

“He will score goals for us, you can see that. This is going to be a massive, massive bonus to Arsenal. He is a massive asset to the team.”

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

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

“Jesus” game is just a nightmare for defenders. He’s electric, he never stops, he’s always on your shoulder, he’s ready to play on and off the ball and I’m really happy with his performance.”

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