Arsenal icon Ian Wright has made no secret of his admiration for youngster William Saliba.
The Gunners signed Saliba from Saint Etienne three years ago before the talented defender spent that period of time on loan with three different Ligue 1 sides. However, he has established himself in north London this term, starting in each of his side’s opening two Premier League outings – earning the man of the match award for his stellar display during the 2-0 win against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season.
Now, former England striker Wright has heaped praise on the 21-year-old, admitting he wants to see him up against Manchester City frontman Erling Haaland. Speaking on Wrighty’s House podcast, he said: “You watch the way Saliba plays, he looks like he’s in total control of every single thing he’s surveying.
“One of the most wonderful things I’ve seen for a long time at a football stadium, I saw in that game. When he scored the own goal [in the 4-2 win over Leicester], the reaction of the fans and the ovation every time he touched the ball, for a couple of times afterwards, was the kind of thing when I’m playing I’m thinking ‘wow, yeah, I’m loving this’, he did not put a foot wrong in that game.
“His positional play, his tackling, his passing out of the back, you’re thinking to yourself, you want to see him up against Haaland, because that’s a whole different type of test. Looking at him now, and without going over the top, you’re looking at a centre-half who has every single attribute to go on to be unbelievable, and will go on to do brilliant things.
“You can see why in such a short space of time he’s gone on to make the national team squad, because of the composure passing out the back, the timing of the tackles, for a 21-year-old.”