Football News

Why Arsenal want ‘horrible’ William Saliba in the starting line-up, according to Kevin Campbell

By Chris Smith

Published: 17:18, 17 March 2020

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes William Saliba could add a ‘horrible’ edge that is currently lacking from Mikel Arteta’s defence.

The Gunners have made the fifth-highest number of errors leading to shots (15) in the Premier League this season, with the likes of Sokratis, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi struggling for consistency at centre-back.

Do Arsenal need a horrible defender? Five things to know…

  • Arsenal have made 15 errors leading to shots in the Premier League this season.
  • However, their defenders have been responsible for just five of them.
  • But Campbell believes Arteta needs a ‘horrible’ defender in his ranks.
  • And the former striker highlighted loanee Saliba as that man.
  • The Gunners are currently eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.


The likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers have also had their fitness issues, leading Arteta to add Spaniard Pablo Mari on loan during the January transfer window.

Arsenal completed the signing of Saliba from Saint-Etienne last summer before immediately loaning him back to the French club.

And Campbell believes he could be the man to add a ‘horrible’ streak to Arteta’s defence next season as they look to rejoin the European elite.

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“He knows what he’s going to get from the [Shkodran] Mustafis of this world. He’s got to recruit new,” he told AFTV. “Saliba’s coming in, fantastic, we want Saliba in there.

“We want someone horrible at the back, probably another centre-half in there. Rob Holding, we’ve not heard about him, he’s another one that will be tested.

“Arteta has come from a place at City where you know what you’re going to get, these guys are trusted, they’ve got that consistency to perform.

“We had it, but we haven’t got it anymore, and it’s going to have to be a ruthless streak, that’s why I say rip it up and start again.

“Arteta, for me, is going to start doing that now because he hasn’t got time to be messing about.”

Prior to the suspension of English football due to the coronavirus outbreak, Arsenal had put together an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, moving them to within just eight points of fourth-placed Chelsea having seemingly fallen out of the race for Champions League places.

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