Arsenal Convinced Their New 'Van Dijk' Could Solve Their Defensive Woes

 Next season, Arsenal could have their own Virgil van Dijk in the form of William Saliba.

While on loan with Ligue 1 club Marseille in 2012/13, the French prodigy had a fantastic season, keeping a total of 19 clean sheets, which is a great achievement for a player of his age. The underlying metrics of Saliba are likewise excellent.

According to statistics recorded in the Ligue 1, the reigning Ligue 1 young player of the season had the best 'true tackle' success rate of all 1207 players in Europe's top five leagues who attempted over 40 tackles, something that Liverpool veteran Virgil van Dijk accomplished throughout his remarkable 2018/19 season.

Of course, that does not mean the Frenchman is on par with Liverpool's centre-back, but he has plenty of time to develop into a world-class defender in the coming years.

Some transfer reports claimed he would continue his development with Marseille, but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta revealed on Tuesday evening that the bright youngster will be required in north London next season.

"He has to come back," Arteta stated about Saliba to reporters. He has the requisite experience and atmosphere to compete with us.

"He wouldn't have got half the game time he had with Marseille if he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game a week plus Ben White and Gabriel." It wouldn't have been helpful for his development and what he may accomplish next year.

"William wasn't with us since he wouldn't have had the necessary playing time." That's all there is to it."

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