But Arteta is now looking to fit the much-loved center-back into his Arsenal setup and offered him his debut in a preseason friendly against MK Dons.
The north London team missed out on the winners 4-1 with Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah, Mark McGuinness and Reiss Nelson all on the scoresheet.
And the Arsenal boss has commented on his new arrival which has impressed on and off the pitch while experiencing the demands of English football.
“He trained really hard,” Arteta said. “He stayed here in London to do better preparation and you can tell he looks ready.
“Obviously there are a lot of things that are new to him and he will have to adapt.
“But he certainly has the right qualities for this football club as well as the right attitude to continue to improve and show the player that he can be for our future. ”
Saliba could soon be joined in Arsenal’s defense by Lille defender Gabriel who is approaching a passage to the Emirates.
Defense of the Gunners has been an issue for some time and Arteta has sought to address those issues.
He is convinced the deal will be done, but confessed that it is never easy.
“As far as Gabriel is concerned, we cannot announce anything yet, the deal is not finalized,” added Arteta.
“You all know he’s a player we’ve followed for a long time and I hope we can get there.
Sign up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to calendar setting stories, get it all right in your inbox.
Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
“Everything is fine when both sides sign, the club and the player agree to the conditions and he passes the medical check.
“Sometimes in the last final stages it’s not as easy as it looks, but then again we’re pretty confident that we can do it.