Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leapt to William Saliba’s defence after Alexandre Lacazette aimed a dig at the defender following Arsenal’s FA Cup victory over Chelsea on Saturday.
Aubameyang scored twice at Wembley to secure a 2-1 victory for Mikel Arteta’s side and the 14th FA Cup trophy in the club’s history.
The Arsenal captain filmed Arsenal’s post-match celebrations in the dressing room at Wembley and Saliba, who watched the game from the stands, could be seen keeping a low profile amongst the jubilation from his teammates.
But Aubameyang and Lacazette spotted the 19-year-old and broadcast his shy reaction to thousands of viewers in a video on Instagram.
In the clip, Aubameyang and Lacazette made fun of Saliba’s hair by calling him ‘spaghetti’.
But Lacazette then aimed a dig at Saliba with a reference to his former club Saint-Etienne.
The Arsenal striker told Saliba: ‘You’re not at Saint Etienne anymore, we win trophies here.’
But Aubemeyang, who spent three years at Saint-Etienne before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2013, fired back at Lacazette: ‘Woah, you calm down about Saint-Etienne.’
Lacazette’s boyhood club Lyon, who he joined at the age of 12, share an intense rivalry with Saint-Etienne in the French top flight, which explains the motive behind his little dig towards Saliba.
Saliba, meanwhile, could make his debut for Arsenal for their Community Shield clash against Liverpool on August 29.
The 19-year-old centre-back, who was signed by Arsenal last year for £27 million, has spent this season on loan at Saint-Etienne.
Saint-Etienne were keen to keep Saliba for their Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain last month but the French club were unable to reach an agreement with Arsenal due to a dispute over the defender’s training programme.
Saliba watched the final as Neymar’s goal sealed a 1-0 victory for PSG.
Saliba has been training with his Arsenal teammates in recent weeks and the defender has revealed how attracted he was by the prospect of playing for the Gunners.
‘I fell for Arsenal from the start,’ he said.
‘A number of French players have been there.
‘Arsenal has not been at the top of its game for the last three, four years. But, like Saint-Etienne, its badge, its history and its fans made me want it.
‘I have a crush on Arsenal. What it gives off speaks to me. I had no hesitation. I am discovering another world.’
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