Montpellier star Stephy Mavididi has backed William Saliba to walk into the Arsenal team next season. The Englishman believes the defender is exactly what the Gunners need.
Saliba joined The Gunners in 2019 but has never played for the club. This season, he was loaned to Marseille and has been in impressive form for the Ligue 1 side.
The Gunners fanbase have been rallying for the Frenchman to be given a chance, and now Stephy Mavididi has joined them. While speaking with LiveScore, the Montpellier star compared the defender with the likes of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva. He said:
“That guy’s a player. He’s hands down one of the best defenders in the league, hands down. I think he’ll walk back into the Arsenal team next season. When I played against him last year I thought: ‘How is this guy not playing at Arsenal?’ He’s strong, good on the ball, he reads the game well. Sometimes you walk off the pitch and think – fair play man, respect.”
“The defender has kept up with you, out-tussled you, out-quitted you, you have to say fair play, this guy’s a good player. He’s one of the best centre-backs I’ve faced. Everyone can talk about Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Jerome Boateng but he’s up there. He’s the one that surprised me the most. I’m an Arsenal fan too and playing against Saliba I thought, ‘We’ve got a very decent defender here!'”
Does William Saliba have a future at Arsenal?
Manager Mikel Arteta has insisted that Saliba is part of the club’s future and he will be looking forward to welcoming the youngster back in the summer.
The Spaniard went on to add that a loan was needed for the player’s development and said:
“He will come back for pre-season and he will be with us. Hopefully, he will come back after playing a number of games and his development progressing in the right way. That’s why we made that decision. I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.”
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The Gunners currently have Gabriel and Ben White dominating at the heart of the defense. It would be tough for Saliba just to walk right into the starting XI unless Arteta switches to a back three.