Arsenal fans have extremely high hopes for William Saliba, the Frenchman who will now be available for selection after a year on loan at St. Etienne.
The teenager is prodigiously talented and cost a fortune 12 months back, and his former youth coach Jean-Luc Vannuchi has gone as far as comparing Saliba to both Raphael Varane and Virgil van Dijk!
“My first impression was that this was the biggest man of his generation,” Vannuchi told The Daily Telegraph. “The difference between him and the other players was massive.
“When he took the ball and ran into midfield, no one could stop him. He was like a monster compared to the others. When he played with St-Etienne it looked normal for him, even though he was so young.”
“A mix of the two styles,” Vannuchi added. “Like Varane because of his speed and power, and with Van Dijk it is the interceptions, the positioning on the pitch.”
We quite like that when a young centre-back is lauded, it’s van Dijk whose name comes up as the pinnacle of what could happen should said player’s potential be fulfilled.
The Dutchman is the best defender on the planet, and however good Saliba is, he’ll have to be one of the greatest players of his generation to rival Virg!
No other defender has come close to Ballon d’Or glory since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, which explains how hard it is for centre-backs to earn such recognition.
And we’re hoping/expecting van Dijk to lead us to Premier League glory – and perhaps another shot at the Ballon d’Or in 2021!