Arsenal teenage star compared to Varane and Van Dijk

Arsenal’s defender, William Saliba has been compared to a blend of Raphael Varane and Virgil van Dijk.

Saliba joined Arsenal in 2019 and was allowed to develop further at Saint Etienne for a season.

The 2019/2020 season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and he didn’t get enough games to prepare him for a stint at Arsenal in this campaign.

He didn’t play any first-team football in the first half of this season with Mikel Arteta considering him not prepared to play for the Gunners.

He is spending the second half of the season on loan at Nice where he has been a regular.

He has shown a lot of quality and maturity at the Ligue 1 side and he would hope to get his chances to play for Arsenal when he returns.

He was one of the highest-rated young defenders in France before his move to Arsenal and his former manager has reminded us of the huge potential that he carries by comparing him to two of the game’s greatest defenders.

Saliba’s former youth coach, Jean-Luc Vannuchi told The Telegraph via Football London: “My first impression was that this was the biggest man of his generation.

“The difference between him and the other players was massive.”

Vannuchi heaped the praise on his former star: “A mix of the two styles. With Varane because of his speed and power, and with Van Dijk, it is the interceptions, the positioning on the pitch.”

Tags William Saliba


  1. PJ-SA says:

    He can be Messi even, if MA doesn’t like him he won’t get game time even if it would benefit the club

  2. RSH says:

    my friend said we picked the wrong St. Etienne defender and shouldve gotten Fofana. I said Arteta would’ve benched Fofana too so doesnt matter. Please get this mess of a manager who cannot recognize blatant talent, away from Arsenal. He’s not ready at all.

    1. Eris says:

      You do realize it is a part of talent recognition to allow young players go out on loan to get relevant experience, right? I feel Saliba would come back better and even appreciate what Arteta has done for him, since handling young players requires a special skill set.

      The kid arrived believing his own hype so, It was always going to serve him well to be so humbled. Arteta knows.

  3. Reggie says:

    Strange how our manager, didn’t see it, the treatment of Saliba by him was shameful. Will Saliba come back and get a fair crack? I doubt it, he isnt over 30.

  4. Durand says:

    Hopefully he gets his chance, maybe even Mavro too. Needless to spend on a new CB; Saliba and Mavroporas are like new signings, isn’t that the saying?

    Then again, neither are Brazilian, Spanish, or over 30 so not sure how they fit into Edu and Arteta’s “rebuild.”

    Trust the process

  5. ClassyGunner says:

    Gabriel, Saliba, Holding, Mari and Mavro. We don’t need any CB for a decade and thats not counting the likes of BAllard and others. If Arteta, doesn’t see the quality here then we need a new manager.

    1. Arsenal01 says:

      You are deluded mate if you really think these guys are going to keep us in the premier league.. saliba and gabriel not ready yet.. for the future i say yes, but holding and mari are not on arsenal level and never will be.. we need an experienced monster to add next season..

      1. Martinzoney says:

        @Arsenal01, Which Arsenal level are you talking about, btw?

        Fofana is less rated than Saliba and he features frequently and performs excellently for the Foxes. Meanwhile Leicester has been topping us on the table for the past 3 seasons or thereabouts.

        Don’t give yourself false hope that Arsenal is on one level bigger than these set of players mentioned.

        Let them be tested before you judge them.

        Thank you.

  6. Michael Ojuma says:

    To be honest, Arteta’s inexperience is his major undoing. He should have given Saliba game time so as to see what he is capable of. Otherwise we shall keep on experimenting as we get overtaken by small teams. Arsenal currently is a mid table team. What a joke!

  7. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    Even if this assessment is a bit of an overreach, there’s no excuse for the way in which we mishandled this seemingly talented kid…so far this season we’ve witnessed some fairly dicey asset management when it comes to our potential blue-chippers, like Saliba, ESR, Martinelli and Balogun, which wasn’t a good look for this organization or it’s manager, who supposedly got this gig in large part due to his perceived developmental capabilities

    to be frank, it’s going to be difficult for them to regain my trust after they recklessly abandoned the “rebuild” after the FA…as for their late season about-face, when they attempted to recycle the whole “rebuild” narrative, this was nothing more than a last resort weaselly maneuver born out of desperation

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Don’t forget Joe Willock as well.

  8. Justine kuti says:

    I really like Artete but he keeps giving me a million reason to get him sack,give saliba and mavro there chances they deserve it.

    1. Okafor Obinna says:

      Salina and co are good players,no dout. However, you need to first build a solid midfield before using talented lads in the defence. Arsenal need to fix our midfield first, like Leicester have done.

      1. Assil says:

        Build a solid midfield? Arteta cant even get it right from the start. The guy let our better GK go. It was clear Martinez was developing into a class GK who was putting in performances of a higher standard than Leno ever has. Yet he didn’t have the balls to let Leno go because he was an expensive signing and not homegrown backup. Basically it was the easy decision to make, “The easy way out”.

        1. Hez says:

          My doubts started with the Martinez decision. His tactics and game management sack, players are underperforming. Arteta is stubborn and not ready

  9. wil says:

    Arsenal line up next sesean
    1 Leno
    2 Gabriel
    3 Mari
    4 cedric
    5 Party
    6 Angisa
    7 Saka
    8 Smith Row
    9 Uaba
    10 Pepe
    11 Adama traore

    Only 2 additions needed to this team , Adama traore and Angisa

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