Sunday, January 29, 2023

Manchester City In Pole Position To Sign This Highly Rated French Defender: Logical Move By Pep?

Must Read
Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to The Sun, Arsenal have turned down the opportunity to sign William Saliba, leaving the door open to Manchester City for making a move for the St. Etienne defender. It is believed that the French outfit are ready to offload the youngster this summer and are demanding a fee of around £25 million. 

But the report also claims that any potential buyer should allow Saliba to remain in France on loan for at least another year. As a result, Arsenal have backed out from the race as they cannot wait for defensive reinforcements until 2020. Manchester City, however, could be in a position to do so – making them the frontrunners in the race to sign this highly talented French centre-back.

Saliba’s rise to prominence this year

A product of the St.Etienne youth academy, Saliba was a part of the St.Etienne first team since the start of the 2018/19 campaign. Although the 18-year-old wasn’t a regular during the first half of the campaign, he has become a key component in the backline in recent months.

Indeed, Saliba has often been preferred over the injury-prone Neven Subotic, and the youngster built a solid defensive partnership with Loic Perrin and Timothee Kolodziejczak. He ended the campaign making 16 league appearances, with a point per game ratio of 2 – more than any other St.Etienne centre backs.

What does Saliba offer to the table?

Saliba is not the most aggressive or imposing defender in the world, boasting a lean figure. But, what makes him such a unique component in defence is his positioning. The 18-year-old can read the game very well that allows him to neutralise passing lanes and key passes in the final third. He has notably averaged a whopping 1.8 interceptions per game this past season.

Another key aspect of his game is his aerial prowess. Saliba has a tall frame of 1.92m, which gives him a considerable advantage when it comes to aerial duels. He won 1.8 headed duels per game during the 2018/19 campaign with an impressive success rate of 62%.

As far as ball-playing is concerned, Saliba often appears tentative with the ball. But that will only improve with time. He did, however, attain a remarkable pass completion rate of 85%.

Should Manchester City make a move for Saliba?

Saliba’s performances during the 2018/19 campaign were enough to suggest that the Frenchman can be groomed into a complete defender by giving him more experience in the highest level of football. But, at the same time, he is not ready to make the jump the Premier League this summer.

Hence, Manchester City could definitely consider signing this talented defender and send him out on loan for another season at St.Etienne. The youngster has already shown tremendous potential and could well be one for the future.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Follow Our Tweets On Twitter

Latest News

Casemiro Gets 9, Fernandes With 7.5 | Manchester United Players Rated In Comfortable Win Vs Reading

Manchester United entertained Reading at Old Trafford earlier tonight as they hoped to earn a victory at home in...

More Articles Like This