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Despite starring against Lionel Messi, William Saliba deemed “not ready for the Premier League” by expert

Despite starring against Lionel Messi, William Saliba deemed “not ready for the Premier League” by expert

Saliba stars against Messi and co.

William Saliba has not played a competitive minute for Arsenal since he joined the club in 2018 from Saint Etienne, instead finding himself loaned out on three occasions.

The defender, still just 20-years-old, is plying his trade with Ligue 1 Marseilles this campaign, and has impressed under Jorge Sampaoli’s stewardship.

Marseilles welcomed Paris Saint Germain to the Stade Velodrome in the latest round of Ligue 1 fixtures, meaning that Saliba found himself facing off against Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, a test for any defender.

It was, however, one that he passed with flying colours, keeping a clean sheet and having his customary poise on the ball.

Arsenal fans in particular were keen to point to a brilliant last man tackle that the man once dubbed the “Mbappe of centrebacks” made on Mbappe, who otherwise would likely have scored.

It has even led to some Arsenal fans questioning why the Frenchman was allowed to leave on loan at all last summer.

Saliba deemed not ready

Of course, tackles such as that will make a pretty highlights reel, but ultimately the majority of Arsenal fans will not have watched every game Saliba has taken part in this campaign.

One man who has watched a lot of them, however, is BT Sport commentator Jonathan Pearce. Pearce covers both Ligue 1 games and Premier League clashes, so has a good understanding of what is needed to be successful in both divisions.

Speaking in commentary during the game, the pundit argued that despite his good form, Saliba was not ready for the Premier League. Pearce claimed:

“Saliba is not ready for the Premier League. He makes too many mistakes.” 

Should the Frenchman get a full season of action under his belt for Marseilles, he could well be ready to play some part in Mikel Arteta’s squad next season.

Read more:

Video: Bizarre scenes in PSG vs Marseille as pitch-invader halts Lionel Messi-led attack

 Why Man United’s fans are furious with Harry Maguire’s post-Liverpool comments


This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 12 26 29
2 Manchester City 12 19 26
3 Liverpool FC 12 24 25
4 West Ham United 12 9 23
5 Arsenal FC 12 -4 20
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 0 19
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Manchester United 12 -1 17
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 12 -2 17
10 Crystal Palace 12 1 16
11 Everton FC 12 -3 15
12 Leicester City 12 -5 15
13 Southampton FC 12 -3 14
14 Brentford FC 12 -1 13
15 Aston Villa 12 -4 13
16 Watford FC 12 -4 13
17 Leeds United 12 -8 11
18 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
19 Norwich City 12 -20 8
20 Newcastle United 12 -12 6

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Raphinha Leeds United 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 4
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
King, Joshua Watford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4