Rio Ferdinand names the two Arsenal players most key to title charge

Rio Ferdinand names the two Arsenal players most key to title charge

Rio Ferdinand believes Arsenal's Premier League title charge would collapse without William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus.

The Gunners are flying this season, winning 11 of their 13 games and will likely head into the mid-season World Cup break top of the table, which would be the first time they hold the no1 spot at Christmas in 15 seasons.

Mikel Arteta was once again heavily backed in the summer transfer window, and brought in Jesus from Manchester City in a deal worth around £45million. Saliba, signed three seasons ago, is shining in the first team after finally being afforded a chance to impress.

And Ferdinand believes the pair's attributes have been most key to Arsenal's rise this season. When Thomas Partey was suggested as Arsenal’s most-important player,

Ferdinand said on Vibe With Five: "I don’t agree, your most important player is Jesus or Saliba. If those players come out of the team, the drop-off from that level is massive.

"You could play Xhaka in Partey’s position and get through a couple of games, not a problem. But you ain’t going to get the same output from someone who comes in after Jesus or Saliba, you’ve got Nketiah or Holding coming in.

"I agree the control mainly without the ball, the way they controlled Chelsea was unreal. It shows you the coaching that has gone in, the hard work from the manager and the ability from the players to take it on.

William Saliba has been exceptional this season. (Getty Images)
William Saliba has been exceptional this season. (Getty Images)

"Saliba was immense, he played really, really well. He stood out. Partey made it look easy in that midfield, dominated that midfield.

"Jesus did everything but put the ball in the back of the net. I just feel he needs to tweak his performance a little bit to be a goal threat in the box, if he can do that with what he’s doing outside, at times he’s covering at left-back, it’s crazy."