Kylian Mbappe names Arsenal star ‘among the best’ in the Premier League

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Kylian Mbappe believes Arsenal star William Saliba is ‘among the best centre-backs in the Premier League’. 

Sailba has become a key figure for Mikel Arteta over the past two seasons, helping the Gunners to back-to-back second-place finishes in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old was Arsenal’s top performer in league play last season when it came to possessions won in the middle and defensive thirds, while he was also among the top three for clearances, headed clearances and aerial duals won.

Saliba’s form helped Arsenal end the campaign with the Premier League’s best defensive record, conceding just 29 goals in 38 games and keeping 18 clean sheets — at least five more than any other team.

Saliba gets Mbappe backing

William Saliba of France runs with the ball during the international friendly match between Germany and France at Signal Iduna Park on September 12, 2023 in Dortmund, Germany.

Saliba and Mbappe have linked up in a heavily-fancied France squad at this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

Despite his dominance in the Premier League, Saliba has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth at international level, picking up just 15 caps to date, with only nine of them starts.

“He is having a good season, but he also does things that I don’t like so much,” France boss Didier Deschamps said of Saliba in March, adding: “For France, he has limited game time, but when he plays, that hasn’t necessarily gone well.”

However, Saliba has been given a massive vote of confidence from Mbappe, who places him among the best in the English top flight right now.

“This season, he has become a very important player for Arsenal and is among the best centre-backs in the Premier League,” Mbappe told Ouest-France (via talkSPORT).

The forward — who will join Real Madrid this summer — added: “He is starting to get minutes with us. It’s now up to him to find his place. For me, he has all the qualities to, in time, be a starter with Les Bleus.”

Saliba’s France begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Austria in Düsseldorf on Monday having also been drawn alongside the Netherlands and Poland in one of the tournament’s toughest groups.

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