“League One-level” Former Arsenal stars absolutely ripped William Saliba

William Saliba, Arsenal (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
William Saliba, Arsenal (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

William Saliba is dubbed by many as the best Premier League defender so far this season. Since returning from his loan spell in France, the Arsenal centre back has completely revolutionised the way they defend. Even if he doesn’t make your team of the season, only a fool would say he’s not been a breath of fresh air for the Gunners this season.

Mikel Arteta loves him, despite formerly being sceptical. The Arsenal boss uses Saliba as the ball-playing centre-back, who is composed enough in one-on-one situations to win back possession and has a beautiful range of passing to get the Gunners from one end of the pitch to the other.

But, things haven’t always been smooth-sailing for Saliba. Indeed, when he was first signed by the club, players at Arsenal dubbed him as “league one-level”. According to ESPN, the players who would rip into Saliba are no longer at the club.

The reason for the critics was fair enough – Saliba was critiqued for often jumping into tackles and being error-prone. Nobody wants a defender like that in their team.

However, it’s a testament to Saliba’s mentality that he didn’t let these critics bring him down. Instead, they made him stronger. The French centre-back is still only 21 years old so has plenty to learn, however, he’s improved tenfold and even represented France at the recent World Cup, where they reached the final.

Although ESPN’s sources haven’t revealed which players made such remarks about Saliba – no player springs to mind from 2020 that has actually excelled in their career since leaving Arsenal. In my honest opinion, it was probably a group of jealous nobodies who played during the club’s banter era and was probably a part of it. Saliba will continue to prove his haters wrong.

What’s been your favourite William Saliba moment for Arsenal so far this season?