3 best Arsenal centre-backs of the Emirates era

  • Arsenal haven't been blessed with an endless list of stout centre-backs since moving to Emirates
  • William Saliba has helped turn defensive fortunes under Mikel Arteta
  • Laurent Koscielny & Per Mertesacker developed stout partnership

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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Arsenal currently boast one of the strongest centre-back pairings in the Premier League, with William Saliba and Gabriel sitting at the heart of the Gunners defence.

In fact, since the move to the Emirates in 2006, Arsenal have been well-equipped in the centre-back area. There were some anomalies but for the most part, the Gunners have always had at least one top central defender sitting in front of the goalkeeper.

Under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have centre-backs in excess, with Saliba, Gabriel, Ben White, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu all able to play at the heart of the defence.

But who have been Arsenal’s best centre-backs across the entirety of the Emirates era?

3. William Saliba

William Saliba
Arsenal FC v FC Porto: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Whilst his short Arsenal career (so far) means that he cannot go any higher on this list yet, William Saliba is without doubt deserving of a spot on this list and can currently be considered one of the best in Europe in his position.

Saliba joined the club from Saint-Etienne in 2019 at the age of 18-years-old. As part of the deal, the Frenchman was instantly loaned back to his former club. Loan spells made up most of his early Arsenal career, with Arteta choosing to develop Saliba abroad rather than throwing him in at the deep-end.

The defender finally made his Premier League debut last season and was vital to our campaign. Many fans pinpoint the collapse of our title challenge to when William Saliba limped off injured in the Europa League.

Since his debut, Saliba has kept 22 clean sheets in 55 Premier League appearances and has only been dribbled past five times by opposition players. Alongside Gabriel, Saliba has been essential to this Arsenal team, a team which he will hopefully continue to grow at for a very long time.

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