“He reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand”: William Saliba seduced the Kingdom for his first with Arsenal

There were a few rookies on the lawn Friday night on the Arsenal side. And not least since Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko took over. But the one who made an impression is an “old man” of the house. And it will therefore not be very happy for Marseille, who dreamed of recovering it again this summer. Friday evening for the opening of the season in the Premier League, William Saliba burst the screen during the victory of the Gunners against Crystal Palace (2-0). “He was impressive“, named Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, at the microphone of Sky Sports.

Elected man of the match by Sky, the former Marseillais bluffed the Kingdom for his first tenure with Arsenal, where he signed in 2019 before being loaned to Saint-Etienne, Nice then to OM in recent seasons. Solid in the duels and author of a tackle noticed in the surface, the native of Bondy brought a precious calm in the London defense. While Ben White was placed in the right lane to make room for him in the middle, the French international even regularly came to the aid of his teammate when he had difficulties against Wilfried Zaha, to sign a clean game. Very clean, even. Almost a recital.

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To say that he won everyone over is a mild understatement. “He has football in him. I was impressed“, slipped Gary Neville, the legend of Manchester United, on the set of Sky. “He reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand. And he will get stronger. He is still a young central defender at 21. (…) It’s a big night for him, he signs such a performance for his debut“.”Even before you see him play, when you see him run in the warm-up, you think he looks like a good player.“, a chained Carragher.”The way he managed this second half, helping Ben White a few times in the box, shows that he is made for this role… He was very good.”

For his first with the Gunners, William Saliba did not miss his mission. And he did not hide his happiness at the end of the meeting. “I waited so long. I’m happy to start my first match with a victory and without conceding goals“, a savored former Green at the microphone of Sky.”It helped me spend the last few years on loan in France because I needed to play. Now I’m back and I hope we can sign a good season“.

An outing that will not please everyone. In particular Pablo Longoria and Marseille fans. The OM boss, who had already been chilled by Mikel Arteta’s speech in recent days, was hoping to seize the opportunity if she presented herself to get her hands on Ligue 1’s best prospect of the 2021 season once again. -2022 this summer. But on the banks of the Thames, the tide has turned. And Saliba’s story at Arsenal finally seems to have really started this Friday.

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