William Saliba hails Virgil van Dijk as 'The Boss' of Premier League defender

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William Saliba hails Virgil van Dijk as 'The Boss' of Premier League defender
Photo: Getty Images
Arsenal defender William Saliba has shared his admiration for Virgil van Dijk by naming the Liverpool captain as the best Premier League centre-back.

Saliba has become vital to Arsenal's impressive defence that has contributed to the Gunners pushing Manchester City all the way in the last two Premier League titles races.

At just 23 years of age, the France international is rated among the best defenders in the Premier League right now alongside van Dijk, who has excelled in his six-and-a half-years at Liverpool.

The Dutchman has led Liverpool to five major honours since joining the club in 2018 and came second to Lionel Messi in the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

READ MORE: Jamie Carragher likens William Saliba to Virgil van Dijk

Speaking to L'Équipe ahead of Euro 2024 in Germany, Saliba did not shy away from discussing his own quality but admitted van Dijk still sits a level above at this stage.

In Arsenal's defence, I'm one of the leaders. I'm not the guy who talks a lot, but I'm talking more and more. I'm making progress on that.

Van Dijk has aura, for example. He's the boss, he commands everything. You feel that he scares the attackers.

But I'm starting to feel the same way. I'm starting to see that the strikers feel fear.

Sometimes, when players are in your zone, they don't have fun. And when there's a one-on-one and the player goes backwards, takes the ball out, runs away from the duel - it's nice.

And the former Saint-Étienne star believes he is in the top three' centre-backs in the English top-flight after Arsenal's defensively astute campaign.

I'm a humble person but last year, like this year, I was in the top three of the best defenders. Of course, I still have work to do to go even higher.

In terms of my concentration, it's much better. Before, I could play a top match and sleep a little. This is no longer the case. I always stay alert.

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