Bacary Sagna: Arsenal’s William Saliba possesses ‘best qualities’ of a defender

Former Arsenal star Bacary Sagna has today provided his take on the imminent arrival of fellow countryman William Saliba at the Emirates.

Arsenal switch

On the back of months of rampant speculation, highly-regarded French stopper Saliba’s move to north London was finally made official last July.

Just hours after the announcement of Dani Ceballos’ arrival on loan from Real Madrid, Arsenal’s deal for Saliba was confirmed across the club’s social media platforms.

The 18-year-old was immediately sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne for the season, though, to build further first-team experience.

Saliba will then join up with his new Arsenal teammates this coming summer.

‘A lot of qualities’

Arsenal’s fans, meanwhile, have since made their excitement clear regarding the potential impact of their soon-to-be stopper on the club’s backline.

The Gunners’ defence has long stood as an area of weakness, with the capital giants having been crying out for a genuine talent of Saliba’s ilk to lead them into a new era.

William Saliba

Montpellier’s French forward Gaitan Laborde (L) vies with Saint-Etienne’s French defender William Saliba (R) during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Montpellier (MHSC) on May 10, 2019, at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

And one individual who certainly appears to be of the opinion that Saliba possesses all of the qualities to cement himself as a Premier League star is Bacary Sagna.

Speaking earlier today, former Gunners full-back Sagna was drawn on talents of his fellow countryman, with the 37-year-old having been full of praise for Saliba:

‘First he will need to adapt to English football. He is a big prospect for the future but Arsenal need him to perform as soon as he starts,’ Sagna told Goal.

‘He is aware of that probably, but he has a lot of qualities and he will learn fast. Hopefully he will achieve good things and become one of the best centre-backs in the league.’

The former French international was particularly keen to highlight Saliba’s ability in one-on-one situations:

‘He is very confident in defending, he is not afraid to defend one against one and most of the time he wins the duels, which is the best quality as a defender.’

‘You need some security, you need some presence and he has that.’

Sagna also discussed watching his former club’s incoming stopper in action recently, with the veteran having labelled Saliba’s performance as ‘amazing’:

‘For him, staying in the French league after signing for Arsenal was the best decision he could make because he knew he was going to change to a bigger club, but he knew he had to improve his performances.’

‘It was like a test, he had to step up his game during this season and the last game I watched of him was amazing. I analysed him as an Arsenal fan and he did very well.’

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