‘He reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand’: Gary Neville compares Saliba to Ferdinand after impressive debut

By Sportarsh Team
2 Min Read

After a fantastic debut for Arsenal, Gary Neville compared William Saliba to Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.

On Friday night, Saliba received his chance to make his Gunners debut in the league against Crystal Palace.

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Saliba was acquired by Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for roughly £30 million, however the French defender did not play for the team for three years.

Saliba spent the previous season on loan at Marseille, but he returned to north London over the summer and performed well enough in preseason to earn a spot in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup.

It may have been intimidating for Saliba to make his Arsenal debut in a boisterous Selhurst Park, but he excelled, helping the Gunners maintain a clean sheet and win 2-0.

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Following the game, Gary Neville and fellow Sky Sports analyst Jamie Carragher praised Saliba, who was chosen as their Player of the Match.

Neville said on sky Sports ( via Metro) :

I was massively impressed with Saliba. He actually reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand.

He’s such a young defender at 21. Getting through that second half, when Arsenal weren’t at their best, would have been the most pleasing thing for Mikel Arteta.

Crystal Palace away, that’s a tough challenge and that’s a big performance from Saliba.

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