The 21-year-old has formed a major part of Arsenal’s fantastic start to the season, returning from a number of loan spells to establish himself as a key figure in Mikel Arteta’s first-team.
Still, Gallas believes a lack of experience next to the French international should be of concern. Over the last few seasons, Arteta has been backed to spend big on young recruits as Arsenal look to build for the future, albeit the arrivals of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko provide trophy-winning experience.
As such, Saliba has been paired with the 24-year-old Gabriel Magalhaes in central defence, a partnership Gallas does not believe boasts the kind of experience to develop in line with some of Arsenal’s rivals.
Gallas told Genting Casino: “When you see Saliba and how he plays, and when you compare with Rio when he was young, I think they are similar. But it’s always the same problem, who is going to be next to you to learn?
“He’s still young and at this age you need to learn and you need to have the right players next to you. That’s why I said it’s very important when you play centre-back, you need to have experienced players you can learn from.
“At the moment Saliba doesn’t have anyone. When I talk about experienced players, I’m talking about top-class defenders.
“That’s why I’m a little bit worried for him. If he wants to go to another level he needs to be next to top class defenders. If we speak about John Terry, who was next to him? Marcel Desailly.
“Rio Ferdinand? He was next to Vidic, or I’m not sure who before that. All the defenders, they learned from someone. Nesta, he was next to Maldini.
“So for defenders to go to the next level you need that. When he turns 25, 26, it will be his turn to lead the defensive line and he will play with young players who will learn from him.
“For example Fofana, he has a great opportunity to learn a lot from Thiago Silva.”