Arsenal star William Saliba hungry for more after a man of the match debut display led to Rio Ferdinand comparison

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WILLIAM SALIBA is hungry for more chances in an Arsenal shirt after a man of the match display on his long awaited debut.

Gunners fans finally got to see the French defender, 21, play a competitive game in their opening day victory at Crystal Palace – three years after he first joined the club.

The French centre-back thoroughly impressed against Palace on Friday night

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The French centre-back thoroughly impressed against Palace on Friday nightCredit: EPA
Saliba produced some superb statistics on the opening day of the Premier League

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Saliba produced some superb statistics on the opening day of the Premier League

Saliba has spent the last few seasons on loan back in France but looks primed for the Premier League after a superb first outing at Selhurst Park.

The towering centre-back dominated Palace’s forward line and showed resilience when the Eagles were piling on the pressure late on.

Saliba’s showing was so good that Gary Neville compared the Arsenal man to Manchester United legend and former teammate Rio Ferdinand.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “I was massively impressed by him. He reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand.

“He’s such a young defender at 21. Getting through that second half, when Arsenal weren’t at their best, would have been the most pleasing thing for Mikel Arteta.”

Following his sensational display, Saliba said: “I’ve waited a long time, but we [did it] in my first ever game, and I am so happy.

“It’s very good when you start to have your first [chance] in this amazing club. So I am so happy, and hungry for more.

“It was very good because we start with a win and a clean sheet.

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“It was a tough game, but we won at the end, so very good.”

Patrick Vieira’s side dominated large parts of the second half but were denied by Gunners keeper Aaron Ramsdale when they managed to craft a chance.

Their inability to defend set pieces last season has also continued this term with Gabriel Martinelli left unmarked at a corner to head in the opener.

The Eagles responded well to the goal but could not make the most of their control.

Joachim Andersen said: “We need to be better at taking our chances.

“When you have good periods we have to take our chances. We missed a bit of killer instinct in the last action, in their box and in our own.

“We need to work on that.”

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