What to Expect From William Saliba by AI
Tall at 6’4. Really huge for a 19 year old with more room to grow. He also has good speed for that size and won’t be beaten by many attackers.
Very decent ball-playing skills for a defender. A little bit worse at long balls but he’s no awkward player. Large room for improvement.
Calm and very good at handling pressure. Isn’t easy to bait. Looks far more matured beyond his years. He’s not too outgoing, has a good head on his shoulders and can develop into a captain.
William Saliba is similar to Raphael Varane. Physically dominant but calm and serene. Doesn’t rush into tackles but instead marshalls attackers until he feels he has an upper edge. And when he does tackle, he usually wins the ball.
His on ball skills for one so young are very decent. He’s better than anyone we have got that’s not Mustafi or Luiz but he can’t yet move the ball like those two.
One of the most surprising things about Saliba is that he doesn’t compete foe aerial balls a lot, despite his height. Perhaps that is explained by the fact that he has often played in a back 3 with Wesley Fofana, who is one of Europe’s aerial monsters.
That’s all I can say about Saliba. He won’t have any problems dealing with the physicality of the EPL. Very calm, won’t be as aggressive as Mustafi or Luiz. Decent passing range but nothing exceptional. Can improve. Seemingly average at headers but has huge potential for improvement.
Very complete for a 19 year old. His probable weakness might be that the intensity of the EPL and his calmness might lead to him being passed by in matches. He also has good steam in his legs, having matched some of Ligue 1’s fastest players in a run.
Very high potential.
On the high side, he might turn out as a mix of Van Dijk (physically, also tactically in the way he controls defenders) and Raphael Varane (mentally, rarely having a bad game but also not having outstanding games too often as well).
On the medium side, he could end up being a sort of Nathan Aké — a clean and collected defender who is reliable at what he does in a good or bad defense. Barring extraordinary injuries or circumstances, it is really hard to see how William Saliba won’t be a top acquisition for Arsenal. A very good purchase.