Arsenal star William Saliba compared to Rio Ferdinand as Gary Neville predicts big things to come

·1-min read
Arsenal star William Saliba compared to Rio Ferdinand as Gary Neville predicts big things to come

Arsenal have a star on their hands in William Saliba, says Gary Neville, who he compared to a young Rio Ferdinand.

The centre-back signed for the Gunners in 2019 but spent the next three seasons out on loan, at Saint-Etienne, Nice and then Marseille. Last season he was named Ligue 1's Young Player of the Year.

Saliba played the full 90 minutes as Arsenal made relatively easy work of Crystal Palace in the opening fixture of the new Premier League season. Standard Sport's Simon Collings named Saliba as his man of the match, highlighting his composure in a "brilliant debut".

And Neville believes Saliba could come one of the best in the years to come.

“I referred to his debut as an early Rio Ferdinand performance, he reminded me of that,” Neville said on his podcast.

"You just know that he will get stronger, he will get wiser, and you know that in three years he is going to be one hell of a centre-back.

"He is a hell of a centre-back now, but when you see him in another two, three, four years’ time ... he will only get better.”