#2: William Saliba
Three tumultuous years and multiple Ligue 1 loan spells mean we had to be patient for William Saliba’s Premier League introduction, but his incredible displays over the past few weeks suggest he was well worth the wait.
The Frenchman made the acclimation to the English top flight look easy – earning the Man of the Match award on his Arsenal debut – and he has produced a series of exceptional performances that have helped him quickly cement his spot in the first team.
A technical behemoth blessed with remarkable recovery pace, Saliba has the strength to compete physically with any striker and he enables us to pin the opposition back thanks to his ability to play in our high defensive line which, on average, is currently the second most advanced in the division.
He also shows tremendous composure in possession – even when under severe pressure – and is happy to bring the ball out from the back himself if the opportunity arises, with his 72 progressive carries this season only bettered by Man City stalwart Ruben Dias amongst centre-backs.
Meanwhile, he considerably improves our set-piece threat and used his colossal frame to convert his first Arsenal goal away to Brentford last week, although a sensational effort at Bournemouth indicates he is equally capable with his feet.
A fantastic start has intensified calls for a contract extension and Saliba admitted himself that he “feels at home” in London. Hopefully, the matter will be resolved in the near future.
Continued on the next slide…