Rio Ferdinand has claimed that it is a little early to be giving judgement on William Saliba, but did reserve the young Arsenal defender after his debut.
The Frenchman joined the club in 2019, but after three successive loan spells in Ligue 1, he has finally returned to make his mark in north London.
Saliba has soaked up plenty of plaudits for his performance in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Friday night, and Ferdinand claims that his time away from the club will have ‘humbled him’, but is reserving full judgement for when he has seen more of the 21 year-old.
“I don’t know if he needed it, but I think that when he went away it humbled him,” Rio told his Vibe with Five YouTube channel. “He came to Arsenal and you expect to play. He was talked about as being that good. They said ‘no, go away and get some experience’ he was the Young Player of the Year in Ligue 1 last season and was phenomenal in that sense.
“He came back and said he’s not playing at right-back, he stuck Ben White at right-back. Saliba comes back and it takes a personality and a character to come in and say ‘right, I’m here’. But you have to reserve judgement on these players, you can’t judge them on one game.”
It definitely is a little early to be judging him, but on initial viewing we appear to have a superstar in the making. He was near faultless at the back on debut and I believe we have everything at the club to help nurture him into the talent that he can be.
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A happy Arteta would have liked a couple more goals against Palace. Wouldn’t we all!
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