William Saliba has revealed the pain he felt in watching Arsenal miss out on the Premier League title last season from the sidelines.
Arsenal held an eight-point lead at the beginning of April, shortly after Saliba suffered a back injury in their Europa League round-of-16 clash against Sporting Lisbon which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.
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In his absence, Arsenal won just three of their final nine league games which allowed Manchester City to overhaul them and claim their fifth title in six seasons.
Mikel Arteta’s side host City on Sunday aiming to prove last year’s title challenge was not a one-off and Saliba is seeking to make up for lost time.
“Of course it was really painful because I watched my team play every game, the most important of the season, and I was not able to play,” he said.
“Of course it hurt me. But injuries are part of football and now it is a new season and hopefully I won’t be injured [again]. I could have helped my team to maybe win the Premier League but we never know. Now it is a new season
“We were first for all the season and at the end we finished second. Every game is so important, we try to win every game to win the league.”