Arsenal loanee William Saliba has begun his loan spell at Marseille in tremendous style.
The 20-year-old defender has played six times for the French club so far following signing on a season-long loan and has helped keep two clean sheets, with the side winning four of their six games in all competitions.
The decision to loan Saliba out was one that confused many Gunners supporters, with many believing he can partner one of Ben White or Gabriel Magalhaes, or even slide into a back three with the duo.
Arsenal’s decision may be even more baffling for fans now, with the latest study from CIES Football Observatory ranking the young French defender in the top 10 players across Europe so far this season.
The database has given Saliba a 95.0 score, which puts him joint-10th in the rankings with OGC Nice star Amine Gouiri.
Way down the list in joint-260th is Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is the closest Gunners player to Saliba.
The Arsenal loanee, when speaking about Mikel Arteta last season, said the Gunners boss was far too quick to judge his ability.
“It is clear that so much has changed in the last year,” he told RMC Sport in February during his previous loan spell with Nice.
“When I saw that the coach changed a lot changed for me too. In this year there has been a lot of change.
“He [Arteta] judged me on two and a half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready.
“I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that.
“When I initially came to Arsenal the league looked very good, so I showed up to training and wanted to train on my own to show the coach I was ready.
“I am happy now. I want to play for Nice. The idea when you’re part of a team is a better feeling for me.”
Meanwhile, his Marseille boss has plenty of confidence in his talent and made a bold prediction recently.
“He’s a top player at his position,” Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli said, via the Mirror.
“We were lucky to get him on loan, it was not simple.
“He’s great at marking, but good bringing the ball out too. He’s a future great of French football, he’s very good at starting plays.
“He’s adapted to a three at the back well, and his performances are linked to the team’s, which likes to play from the back.”
Source by Football London