English Premiership

Sagna believes Arsenal youngster Saliba is a future star

William Saliba (Getty Images)
William Saliba (Getty Images)

Former Arsenal player Bacary Sagna reckons William Saliba has the potential to become one of the top defenders in the Premier League.

The young Frenchman signed for the Gunners last summer in a £27 million deal, only to be loaned back to St Etienne for the 2019/20 season.

The 18-year-old has since played 17 times for the Ligue 1 side, although he has had an injury-hit campaign, with Saliba not featuring for three months from early November to the end of January.

"First he will need to adapt to English football," Sagna told Goal. "He is a big prospect for the future but Arsenal need him to perform as soon as he starts.

"He is aware of that probably, but he has a lot of qualities and he will learn fast. Hopefully he will achieve good things and become one of the best centre-backs in the league.

"He is very confident in defending, he is not afraid to defend one against one and most of the time he wins the duels, which is the best quality as a defender.

"You need some security, you need some presence and he has that."

Sagna added: "For him, staying in the French League after signing for Arsenal was the best decision he could make because he knew he was going to change to a bigger club, but he knew he had to improve his performances.

"It was like a test, he had to step up his game during this season and the last game I watched of him was amazing. I analysed him as an Arsenal fan and he did very well."

- TEAMtalk media

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