Gallas names FOUR defenders who are better than Saliba

William Gallas names FOUR Premier League defenders who are better than William Saliba… as the Frenchman tells fans to ‘calm down’ about the Gunners star and insists he is NOT world class

  • William Saliba is enjoying another extremely impressive season for Arsenal
  • However, former Gunners defender William Gallas insisted he is not world class
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Former France star William Gallas has played down praise received by William Saliba and named four Premier League defenders who he thinks are better than the Arsenal man.

Saliba has been a revelation for the Gunners ever since breaking into their team at the start of the 2022-23 campaign after spending three successive years out on loan. 

He was instrumental in their title push last season as he started their first 27 matches before a back injury coincided with Mikel Arteta’s side picking up just 18 points from their final 11 games as they were ultimately pipped to the Premier League by Man City.

However, Gallas – who played for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in his career and also won 84 caps for France – claimed Saliba is not yet at the top level.

‘Let’s calm down about William Saliba!’ Gallas told Lord Ping. ‘That’s a problem with the modern media, and discussion like this isn’t good for the players. Some of them can’t deal with that pressure.

William Gallas played down praise received by William Saliba and insisted he is not world class

Gallas also claimed there are four better defenders than Saliba in the Premier League alone

‘I like Saliba, and I think he’s a really good player, but as far as I’m concerned, the best defenders in the world have to play in their national teams and be a constant in their starting XI.

‘Saliba isn’t a starter for France yet, but when he’s in the line-up and he’s performing as well as he does at club level, then we can discuss him being the world’s best defender. 

‘At the moment, he could be one of the best defenders in Europe. There’s a difference!’

Saliba made his debut for France in March last year and has since gone onto win 10 caps for Les Bleus.

He was part of their World Cup squad in Qatar but played just 27 minutes as he remains a largely peripheral figure in the national team.

And along with a need to become a regular for Didier Deschamps’ side, Gallas also felt there are better defenders than him in the Premier League as he named four.

He added: ‘Thiago Silva comes to mind when thinking about truly world-class defenders. 

‘He was great in the past, and he’s great now, even at his age. I also like Josko Gvardiol, and he’s a great example of a player who adapted to a new system straight away. 

‘Look at how he plays now compared to how he played at RB Leipzig – the way he’s adapted is unbelievable and he’s a world-class defender.’

Gallas continued: ‘There’s also Raphael Varane. He may not be at his best at the moment, but what he’s achieved speaks for itself.

Gallas also insisted Saliba has to break into France’s team before he can be called world class

He named Raphael Varane (left), Thiago Silva (right), Virgil van Dijk and Josko Gvardiol as four Premier League defenders who are better than Salbia

‘Virgil Van Dijk is great, too, even if he’s not quite been the same since his injury. He was top-class back then, but he’s making some mistakes now. He’s not perfect, but he’s still very good. 

‘I’d say those are the world-class defenders I can think of.’

Saliba has shone again so far this season, playing every minute for the Gunners and successfully shackled Erling Haaland in their 1-0 win over Man City before the international break.

They return to action after the international break with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Saturday evening.  

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