William Saliba has been praised for dominating Ivan Toney during Arsenal’s win over Brentford on Sunday, casting the latter’s England selection into question.
The Bees striker has been named as the back-up striker in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, with this his last chance to look at his options before naming his World Cup squad for Qatar.
Toney usually impressed using his strength and movement to keep defenders on their toes, but this weekend he was forced into submission by the Gunners, with Saliba key in keeping him quiet.
Our young star’s performance hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with Garth Crooks picking him for his Team of the Week with the BBC.
“I must say I expected a little more from Brentford, as I did from Ivan Toney considering his recent selection for the England team,” Crooks wrote in his regular column. “However, both Brentford and Toney had to contend with William Saliba, who looks very dangerous in the opposition penalty area and as solid as a rock in his own.
“If Toney is going to be taken seriously as a starter for the national team, he is going to have to make life much harder for defenders like Saliba. This was a stroll in the park for the Frenchman. It is not always about scoring goals for strikers, but it is about putting yourself about sometimes.”
Saliba has been a breath of fresh air since making his debut in our opening game against Crystal Palace, and is clearly wise betond his years.
He just seems built for the job in hand, and it was some statement to keep the highly physical presence of Toney to the minimum.
Will forwards now be worried about the prospect of having to face us?
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