Arsenal news: Gary Neville compares William Saliba to Man Utd legend | Soccer

Gary Neville impressed by William Saliba's Arsenal debut

Gary Neville impressed by William Saliba’s Arsenal debut (Images: Sky Sports/Getty)

Gary Neville compared William Saliba to this Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand after his impressive Arsenal debut.

Saliba finally got his Gunners debut for the Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Friday night.

Arsenal spent almost £30million to sign Saliba from Saint-Etienne in 2019 but the French defender went three years without playing for the club.

Saliba was loaned to Marseille last season but returned to north London in the summer and impressed in pre-season to get involved in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Making his Arsenal debut in a lively Selhurst Park might have been a daunting prospect, but Saliba impressed as he helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet and win 2-0.

Jamie Carragher named Saliba his player of the match and both he and fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville praised the 21-year-old after the game.

Manchester United legend Neville said: “I was very impressed with Saliba. He actually reminded me of a young Rio Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand is a Manchester United and England legend

Rio Ferdinand is a Manchester United and England legend (Image: Getty)

“He’s such a young defender at 21. It would have been happiest for Mikel Arteta to get through that second half when Arsenal weren’t at their best.

“Crystal Palace away, that’s a tough challenge and that’s a great performance from Saliba.”

Carragher added: “I thought he was really good. He didn’t have much to do in the first half but there was one long ball where he just came across as how he handled it… he looked the business, he looked the role.

“At such a young age, the way he handled that second half… he looked real.

“Getting him certainly adds something because you always thought that was a weakness for Arsenal. His physicality will certainly help Arsenal in those away games.

Saliba, meanwhile, was delighted with his long-awaited debut in Arsenal’s opening win, saying: “We knew it was going to be tough here but we were strong and solid.

“I’ve waited a long time for my debut and I’m happy to start with a goal and a win. It’s important for confidence.’

MORE : Man Utd hero Gary Neville blown away by Arsenal star in Crystal Palace win

MORE : Arsenal start new Premier League season with hard-fought win at Crystal Palace

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Arsenal FC Arsenal news: Gary Neville compares William Saliba to Man Utd legend | Soccer

Nate Jones

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