Best in the world?! Arsenal star told he 'can be a disaster'

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 19 Apr 2024 10:06 BST
  • 3 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Former Arsenal man William Gallas believes that William Saliba is too inconsistent to be a starting centre-back for France.

The Gunners defender has been in the news a lot lately. Though he is generally considered one of the best centre-backs in the world, even attracting the attention of Real Madrid, Saliba has not always been convincing in recent weeks.

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It is unclear whether this is due to fatigue or his youth - at 23, he is still a relatively young player - but it is evident that this is a potential worry for Arsenal. Saliba's ability has never been in doubt, but mistakes have begun creeping into his game at a crucial juncture of the season.

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The perception of Saliba in England is very different to the way he is viewed in France. Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps hinted at this in March when he admitted that the 23-year-old struggles for game time for his national team because "he does things that I don’t like so much" and that things haven't "necessarily gone well" when he has featured for France.

William Saliba and centre-back partner Gabriel
© IMAGO - William Saliba and centre-back partner Gabriel

Saliba 'can be a disaster'

Ex-Arsenal defender William Gallas has now offered his thoughts on Saliba, again demonstrating that the defender is not always viewed favourably in his home country. Speaking to GFFN, Gallas stated that the "inconsistent" Arsenal star "can be a disaster."

“Unfortunately, it’s difficult for William Saliba to be in the [France] starting XI because you have Ibrahima Konaté from Liverpool and Dayot Upamecano from Bayern, and sometimes Saliba can be magnificent, but sometimes he can be a disaster as he’s not consistent."

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"That’s why it’s a big problem for Didier Deschamps to know exactly who is going to be the number one, or the partnership at centre-back! For every other country, Saliba would probably walk into the XI with ease, but with France, it’s different and that is very tough for him – especially as they have been so successful in recent years. We have some great young centre-backs in the French team, that’s for sure.”

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