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William Saliba makes honest Virgil van Dijk comment as Liverpool ace sent seven-word message

Virgil van Dijk
-Credit: (Image: Roy Lazet/Soccrates/Getty Images)


William Saliba has heaped praise on Virgil van Dijk, describing the Liverpool captain as 'the boss'. The duo will lock horns later this month when France meet the Netherlands in matchday two of the Euro 2024 group stage.

Ronald Koeman's side will kick off their campaign in Germany on June 16 against Poland before Les Bleus face Austria the following day. Then, on June 21, France and the Netherlands will go head-to-head at the Leipzig Stadium.

In an interview with French publication L’Equipe, Saliba was quizzed on Van Dijk's influence and how he compares to the Liverpool captain. The Arsenal defender lauded his Premier League rival and claimed that he sees similarities in their game.

"I’m not the guy who talks much, but I talk more and more. I’m making progress on that point," said Saliba. "In defence at Arsenal, I’m one of the leaders. Van Dijk has aura. He’s the boss. He commands everything. You can feel he’s scaring strikers away. And I’m starting to feel the same way."

The Gunners ace added: "I think I am in the top three [defenders in the Premier League]. We finished with the best defence. I watch a lot of matches. I am a very humble person but last season, just like this season, I am in the top three defenders.

"I need to continue to work to go even higher […] in terms of concentration, I am a lot better. Before, I could play a top match but in one phase of play, I slept a bit. That is no longer the case. I am always on alert."

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While Saliba will be determined to back up his claims on the international stage, it remains unclear whether he'll start for France this summer. Deschamps named numerous centre-backs in his squad for the European championships, bringing Ibrahima Konate, Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard, in addition to the Arsenal youngster.

A few of which, like Kounde and Pavard, may be expected to play full-back, though. If it's any consolation, on Wednesday night, Les Bleus briefly trialled a back-five in a friendly against Luxembourg.

France play Canada on Sunday evening before they jet off to Germany and step up their Euro 2024 preparations.