Renowned fitness coach Nicolas St-Maurice has compared Arsenal youngster William Saliba to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Though it’s just not on the pitches of Ligue 1 where Saliba has earned praise this season. St-Maurice – who has trained the likes of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema – spent some time working with Saliba in the recent past and claimed he was reminded of Van Dijk when the two trained.
While talking as a guest on Chris Wheatley’s YouTube channel, he said: “What I liked when I saw him is, right away, I thought of Virgil van Dijk, because [of] the physique and stuff, and the position he plays in.
“But I think he has the potential, definitely, to make it far. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s focused.
“I know a lot of players, a lot of young players, when they come to Dubai, it’s tough to stay focused, you know, there’s a lot of distractions.
“But he was here, he was working hard and I think he’s got the right environment, also. He’s humble and he’s smart.”
TIF Thoughts on William Saliba and Arsenal…
The Liverpool defender won the UEFA men’s Player of the Year award in 2019 after he helped his side lift the Champions League.
If Saliba can reach anywhere near that level, he certainly would have proven St-Maurice’s estimation to be accurate. For now, though, the young defender will likely be hoping to get himself into Arsenal’s defence at the end of his loan.
Will William Saliba get a chance at Arsenal?
The arrival of Ben White may have made this proposition a little more difficult, but if Saliba really is on the way to emulating Van Dijk, then he should be able to eventually force his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans.