Lucy Ward amazed by William Saliba display in Arsenal draw
Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Lucy Ward amazed by William Saliba display in Arsenal draw

Lucy Ward was full of praise for William Saliba as the full-time whistle loomed during Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Sporting on Thursday, telling BT Sport (broadcast on 9/3; 19:38) that the centre-back was brilliant in the draw.

Mikel Arteta’s men have a bit of work to do to go through after a 2-2 draw in Portugal. Arsenal were in control for large parts of the game. But they needed an own goal to level things up after going 2-1 down.

Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

It was actually Arsenal who broke the deadlock. And it was Saliba who gave the visitors the lead.

Ward praises Saliba after Arsenal draw

Some Arsenal players failed to stake a real claim for more game-time. Matt Turner was criticised for the opening Sporting goal. Meanwhile, Jakub Kiwior had a mixed evening.

Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

But it seems that Saliba managed to impress alongside the January signing.

It was as he sprinted across the pitch to stop the ball going out for a throw-in – after several of his teammates had clearly started to tire – that Ward expressed how impressed she had been with the Frenchman’s display.

“Saliba’s been brilliant as well, like a Rolls-Royce. Just completely in control of the runs the wingers and the centre-forwards make. Great positioning himself,” she told BT Sport.

It is remarkable to think that Saliba is still only 21. And it is almost even more amazing to think that he only made his debut for Arsenal at the start of this season.

He looks so comfortable alongside Gabriel Magalhaes on a consistent basis. And he was a leader on a night when the backline looked considerably different.

Obviously, he will be disappointed that Arsenal conceded twice. But he still managed to stand out as a class act on a night which probably leaves supporters cautiously optimistic that they should now get through when they face off at the Emirates.

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

You may also like…