Gabriel Magalhaes has lauded William Saliba in reaction to his performance as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener on Friday, in comments to the Evening Standard.
Arsenal fans finally got the chance to watch Saliba in action in a competitive game for the Gunners. The Frenchman started alongside Gabriel at the heart of the back four. Ben White meanwhile, moved out to the right-back role against the Eagles.
It proved to be a hugely successful evening for Saliba and Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s men won 2-0 at Selhurst Park. And it was Saliba who was named man of the match.
Gary Neville has since compared his display with that of a young Rio Ferdinand. And it seems that his performance impressed many inside the Arsenal dressing room also.
In fact, Gabriel could hardly praise the performance more. The Brazilian suggested that he loved playing alongside the 21-year-old in the game.
“For me, he’s the best! He’s very young, very promising and a very good player,” he told Standard Sport. “I am so happy to play with him, together. He has now started in the Premier League and he was so good.
Gabriel lauds Saliba in reaction to his performance in Arsenal win
It will be very interesting to see how Arteta uses his three main centre-back this season. Obviously, they will all have plenty of opportunities to play with Arsenal competing on four fronts.
But eventually, a favoured pairing is surely going to emerge. White and Gabriel did a brilliant job last season. And Arsenal spent a lot of money to bring the England international to the Emirates.
But Saliba’s performance was certainly a statement of intent.
And Arteta may well take into account which player Gabriel tends to prefer playing alongside. And there is absolutely no question that he is a big fan of Saliba after that display.