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William Saliba reveals the player that he learns from that has made him world-class

Arsenal centre back William Saliba has been considered by many as currently already world-class and the player has revealed the player he’s learned from.

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( Arsenal centre back William Saliba / Photo via Getty )

Arsenal centre back William Saliba has revealed that he bases his game on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, whom he considers to have been the best defender in the world for a period of two to three years. Saliba, who started 27 league games for Arsenal last season before getting injured, has been praised for his coolness and class on the pitch, much like his idol.

In an interview with the  Daily Mail, Saliba expressed his admiration for Van Dijk’s qualities. “I still watch him,” Saliba said. “I really like his quality in one-against-one, his calmness, his composure and his long balls as well. He has everything and, for me, he was a good defender to learn from.”

Saliba’s desire to learn from Van Dijk is evident in his playing style. The 22-year-old possesses similar attributes to the Dutchman and has shown great potential during his time at Arsenal. However, when asked if he believes he can become the world’s best defender like Van Dijk, Saliba remains humble.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal flicks the ball goalwards under pressure from Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the FA Community Sheild match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“Of course I have the quality, but that means nothing,” Saliba admits. He understands that talent alone is not enough to reach the top level of football. Hard work, dedication, and continuous improvement are essential factors in becoming a world-class player.

Last season, Arsenal were engaged in a fierce title race with Manchester City in their bid to win the Premier League title. However, a defeat against Nottingham Forest in their 37th game week saw them lose out on the trophy to The Citizens. Throughout this campaign, Saliba proved himself as one of Mikel Arteta’s best players before succumbing to injury towards the end of the season. His performances were crucial in Arsenal’s title challenge, and his absence was sorely felt in the final stretch of the campaign.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: William Saliba of Arsenal is challenged by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on November 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

As Saliba continues to develop and learn from his idol Van Dijk, there is no doubt that he has the potential to become one of the world’s best defenders. With his coolness, composure, and ability to excel in one-on-one situations, Saliba possesses the necessary qualities to reach the top level. However, he understands that talent alone is not enough and remains focused on continuous improvement.

Arsenal fans will be eagerly awaiting Saliba’s return from injury as they hope he can play a pivotal role in their quest for silverware next season. With his idol Van Dijk as his inspiration, Saliba has all the tools to become a defensive force for Arsenal and potentially emulate the success of the Liverpool star.

Hello there, Am Mumbere Ausbel from Uganda and I am a writer at Arsenal True Fans and I love watching football matches so much because it's my favourite sport. I am an optimistic person who usually likes to look at the good side of everything.

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