Jenas believes Saliba form for Arsenal has exposed Gabriel this season
Saliba has been one of the stars of the show for Mikel Arteta’s side. Of course, it is almost remarkable to think now that the Frenchman went into this campaign still awaiting the chance to make his Gunners debut.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation. Aaron Ramsdale labelled the defender a Rolls-Royce in an interview with Goal. And he left Arsenal fans drooling at the weekend with marauding runs out of his own penalty area and an audacious nutmeg on Oliver Skipp.
Saliba has exposed Gabriel a little
Saliba has arguably exceeded supporters’ already high expectations ahead of his debut. But it seems that that may have caused a small issue for the man alongside him.
Gabriel gave away a penalty in the North London derby with a clumsy challenge on Richarlison. And Jenas believes that it is the quality of Saliba’s form which has led to doubts about Gabriel’s performances at the start of this season.
“You basically said you’re worried about Gabriel. I’m saying I just feel like Saliba has elevated the level that it’s just exposed Gabriel a little bit,” he told Ferdinand’s YouTube channel.
“He’s still very good. He’s still a very good centre-half. But all of a sudden, you’re looking at Saliba and going, ‘we need another one of you’. But he’s still doing his job.”
Gabriel has unquestionably been an outstanding signing for Arsenal. He cost the club less than Saliba. And he has kicked on considerably since arriving from Lille.
The Gunners have a group of players who are still learning and developing. And with that, there are going to be mistakes along the way.
There may be times when Gabriel outshines Saliba. And of course, Ben White may well get a run in his more natural position as the season goes on.
Perhaps Saliba’s form has caused some of the concern surrounding Gabriel. But there is every reason to think that it will not be too long until the Brazilian is back to his best.
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