Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea star insists Saliba is NOT world class and lists four better defenders including Man Utd ace | The Sun
WILLIAM GALLAS has insisted that Arsenal defender William Saliba is NOT world class.
Saliba, 22, joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in 2019 but only established himself as a first team regular last summer.
Since making his Premier League debut at the start of the 2022-23 campaign, the centre-back has become one of the most important players in Mikel Arteta's squad.
The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have all heaped praise on him in recent months.
However, Gallas is not convinced that he is among the world's best defenders.
The former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham star told Lord Ping: "Let’s calm down about William Saliba.
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"That’s a problem with the modern media, and discussions like this aren't good for the players. Some of them can’t deal with that pressure.
"I like Saliba, and I think he’s a really good player, but as far as I’m concerned, the best defenders in the world have to play in their national teams and be a constant in their starting XI.
"Saliba isn’t a starter for France yet, but when he’s in the line-up and he’s performing as well as he does at club level, then we can discuss him being the world’s best defender.
"At the moment, he could be one of the best defenders in Europe. There’s a difference."
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When listing the players that he believes are world class, Gallas added: "Thiago Silva comes to mind when thinking about truly world-class defenders.
"He was great in the past, and he’s great now, even at his age. I also like Josko Gvardiol, and he’s a great example of a player who adapted to a new system straight away.
"Look at how he plays now compared to how he played at RB Leipzig – the way he’s adapted is unbelievable and he’s a world-class defender.
"There’s also Raphael Varane. He may not be at his best at the moment, but what he’s achieved speaks for itself.
"Virgil van Dijk is great, too, even if he’s not quite been the same since his injury. He was top-class back then, but he’s making some mistakes now. He’s not perfect, but he’s still very good.
"I’d say those are the world-class defenders I can think of."
Saliba is expected to star for Arsenal this weekend when the Gunners face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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