William Saliba was exceptional for Marseille against PSG on Sunday in a man of the match performance which saw the hosts keep a clean sheet against arguably the most dangerous front three in world football coming up against Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Whilst the praise was pouring in for the Frenchman it once again created the debate on whether Mikel Arteta deciding to loan out Saliba was the correct decision.
Fans were also quick to compare the young defender to Arsenal’s Ben White and Gabriel and compare to the two defenders on who would be the better option.
However, we should look at how Liverpool are handling their centre-back situation and adopt this for when Saliba returns to the club next season.
Instead of replacing White for Saliba or selling the French defender as he isn’t good enough to dethrone the current centre-back’s at the club we should keep him in the squad to compete .
Despite Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk being fit and ready ahead of this campaign, Liverpool still decided to sign one of Europe’s most promising defenders in Ibrahima Konate.
Since the start of the season Jurgen Klopp has been able to rotate the defensive partnerships game-by-game and using the personnel that will suit best for the upcoming fixture.
This has worked a treat for the Reds who are currently the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and have looked solid to be one of the favourites for the league title.
Liverpool kept a clean sheet against one of their biggest rivals in Manchester United with Konate at centre back despite him only making one league appearance previous to this match.
The formula certainly works and It is one Arteta should look to adopt ahead of next season, especially if the club are competing in a European competition.
There were calls for Arsenal to start three centre-backs next season which would accommodate Saliba without the need to drop Ben White but this simply would not work.
It would unbalance the defence and we do not currently have a right-wing back that would be a threat in an attacking sense.
Rotating Gabriel Magalhaes, White and Saliba would be the most viable option for multiple reasons.
Not only does it create healthy competition for places in the squad but it also creates the opportunity to take a player out of the limelight if they are struggling for form.
Due to the young age of the defenders it means they are likely to make mistakes and will see a drop in performance levels, so having a healthy form of rotation will certainly benefit.
We have seen Liverpool reap the rewards and it is certainly a system that Arsenal should be looking to adopt.
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