Arsenal

Gary Lineker says Arsenal have a great athlete who reminds him of Virgil van Dijk

Gary Lineker has claimed that one current Arsenal player reminds him of Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

The Gunners had an excellent season in the Premier League, but once again, they fell short of winning the title. Manchester City finished two points above them and ended the campaign as the champions.

rsenal, however, have a lot of positives to take from this season, and Lineker seems to be really impressed with one of Mikel Arteta‘s key players.

Gary Lineker explains why Arsenal’s William Saliba reminds him of Virgil van Dijk
William Saliba was one of Arsenal’s best players in the 2023/24 season.

The Frenchman, whose injury cost the Gunners the title in the previous campaign, achieved the incredible feat of becoming the first Arsenal player in Premier League history to play every single minute of the season.

Some people argue that Saliba’s centre-back partner Gabriel had a better season for Arsenal. He performed brilliantly – nobody can deny that.

However, Saliba just fills you with a lot of confidence if he’s on your team, and his performances have impressed almost everyone who has watched him play.

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer included both Saliba and Gabriel in their respective Teams of the Season, and the former raved about the France international.

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He claimed that Saliba is a great athlete and even compared him to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who is viewed by many as the best central defender in the world.

Lineker said on The Rest is Football podcast: “He’s (Gabriel) kind of the determined hardman, isn’t he, in the way that they play, and Saliba is the Rolls-Royce type.

“He’s such an athlete, Saliba. He reads the game so beautifully, he times his tackles. He’s one of those, a little bit like Virgil van Dijk. Saliba is a little bit like that.

“You don’t see him on his backside very often, he’s got very good balance, he’s quick, he’s good on the ball. He’s got it all!”

READ MORE: Shock William Saliba to Real Madrid transfer rumour has emerged

The one reason why Saliba could become even better than Van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has arguably been the best defender in the world since he joined Liverpool in 2018.

The Dutchman is one of the biggest reasons why Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Champions League and the Premier League in back-to-back seasons, and his performances in the 2023/24 campaign were excellent as well.

Arsenal star William Saliba is right up there too. Since the start of the 2022/23 season, the Frenchman has been just as good as Van Dijk – some think he’s been even better.

Saliba and Van Dijk are currently the best defenders in the Premier League, but the fact that the former is already this good when he’s nearly a decade younger than the Liverpool skipper is a hugely positive sign for Arsenal.

If Saliba continues to progress in the same way, he will become better than Van Dijk ever was when he reaches his prime.

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