TNT Sports pundit Rio Ferdinand says William Saliba has the potential to be up there with the very best centre-backs in the game.
The Arsenal defender has started the season in excellent form and, when asked how far the 22-year-old could go, Ferdinand replied:
“I think potentially he could be top, top, top, top tier. Potentially, potentially.”
When it was then suggested that Saliba could end up being a better player than Ferdinand, the former Manchester United captain said:
Saliba has the potential to be the best centre-half in world football
Ferdinand’s praise of the Gunners star is fully justified. The France international possesses all the attributes to make it to the very top.
The defender has the physicality to deal with any striker he comes up against, winning aerial duels, muscling opponents off the ball, as well having the concentration to keep track of his markers.
That, combined with his composure on the ball and a very good passing range, makes him an outstanding all-rounder. It’s a combination that very few others can match.
If Saliba stays fit, Arsenal have an excellent chance of winning trophies
There is no disputing the fact that the Gunners’ title challenge faded at the end of last season after Saliba suffered a back injury.
The centre-back missed the last 11 league games of the 2022/23 campaign, with Mikel Arteta’s side only winning 5 of those fixtures, and conceding 18 goals in the process.
If they are to lift a trophy this season, you do feel that Saliba will have to maintain his fitness. The likes of Ben White, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu are decent defenders but they can’t replace what the Frenchman offers the team.