If reports are true, Arsenal could soon have defender who's 'up there' with Thiago Silva in their XI - TBR View
Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

If reports are true, Arsenal could soon have defender who's 'up there' with Thiago Silva in their XI - TBR View

Arsenal got themselves a star in the making when they snapped up William Saliba.

The 20-year-old signed for the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 for £27million.

Arsenal loaned Saliba back to Saint-Etienne for the remainder of the season, and went on to reach the French Cup final.

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

He then arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2020, and it was hoped that he’d stake a claim for a first-team place.

However, Mikel Arteta hasn’t yet given him a competitive senior game.

The Frenchman has since embarked on two more loan spells – Nice and Marseille, for whom he currently plays.

Peers, pundits and fans alike have questioned Arteta’s decision-making with regards to Saliba.

However, Goal.com journalist Charles Watts has sought to allay Arsenal fan fears regarding the talented defender.

He claims the Gunners will focus on two things in particular this summer.

One is finding adequate cover for Takehiro Tomiyasu, and the second is integrating Saliba into the Arsenal squad.

The Gunners have been monitoring the player’s performances closely and see him as a key part of their future, said Watts.

“Arsenal believe his development in France shows that they were right to manage him the way they have,” he added.

“As it has allowed the defender to play regularly at a young age away from the relentless spotlight of the Premier League.”

Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

“One of the best centre-backs I’ve faced”

Many footballing figures have praised Saliba’s displays and progress over the past few years. Martin Keown, Frank Leboeuf and Samir Nasri to name but three.

Former Gunners academy star Stephy Mavididi recently added his name to that list, singing Saliba’s praises.

“That guy’s a player,” Mavididi said during a recent interview with LiveScore. “He’s hands down one of the best defenders in the league. 

“I think he’ll walk back into the Arsenal team next season. He’s strong, good on the ball, he reads the game well. He’s one of the best centre-backs I’ve faced. 

“Everyone can talk about Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Jerome Boateng, but he’s up there. He’s the one that surprised me the most.

“I’m an Arsenal fan, too, and playing against Saliba I thought, ‘We’ve got a very decent defender here.'”

As references go, you can’t get much better than being compared to the likes of Marquinhos, Thiago and Boateng.

It’s been a long time coming, but it looks as though a clear pathway is opening up for Saliba at the Emirates.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

You may also like…

LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment