Rice is better than what they had, but we’ll see” – Danny Murphy says Arsenal are ‘heavily reliant’ on one player and it’s not Declan Rice

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy suggests that despite Declan Rice’s recent heroics, Arsenal still rely heavily on William Saliba.Rice scored an injury-time winner as the Gunners secured a 4-3 win against Luton Town in their latest Premier League game at Kenilworth Road on December 5. Since his £105 million summer move from West Ham United, the midfielder has been pivotal for the north London side. He has scored three goals and provided two assists in 22 appearances across competitions as a defensive midfielder.

Murphy, though, thinks Saliba is more important for Mikel Arteta’s side. He said about the French central defender and the Premier League title race (via The Boot Room):

Saliba has made 21 appearances for Arsenal so far this season, keeping nine clean sheets. The defender is crucial for the team. His absence was thoroughly felt last season as the Gunners’ Premier League title charge derailed right after Saliba’s injury in the Europa League against Sporting Lisbon.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry reckons William Saliba is the best defender in the Premier League at the moment
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry suggested that William Saliba is the best defender in the Premier League at this point. The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner lauded his compatriot’s overall abilities, saying he is exceptional in one-on-one situations


Saliba signed for the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in 2019 and spent two loan spells at OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille. Since the start of the 2022-23 season, the defender has been a constant presence in Arteta’s team, making 54 appearances for the club.

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