During an exhilarating game in the Premier League, held at the Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford FC and Arsenal FC faced off, with the central defensive collaboration of Gabriel and William Saliba shining brightly. In a thrilling turn of events, Arsenal secured a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Kai Havertz’s well-timed header, propelling them to the summit of the league, just one point ahead of Manchester City.
Nevertheless, it was the outstanding performances of Gabriel and Saliba that captured the attention of former English national player Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand firmly believes that this defensive partnership grants Arsenal a decisive advantage over Liverpool in the pursuit of the league championship. In the Gunners’ mission to overthrow Manchester City, he views them as crucial players.
During an interview with TNT Sports, Ferdinand conveyed his certainty in Gabriel and Saliba, asserting that “The two central defenders are the main factor that leads me to favor them over Liverpool in the title race against someone like Manchester City, as you can have complete trust in them at present.” He praised their present performance and emphasized the potential for their partnership to flourish and become even more formidable.
Ferdinand also lauded Gabriel and Saliba for their determination to battle and fulfill the less glamorous tasks on the field. He highlighted the team’s willingness to face difficult matches, such as the one against Brentford, and emphasized their ability to perform exceptionally well in both favorable and challenging situations, which distinguishes them as a partnership.
Manchester City managed to surpass Arsenal and secure the title last season, partly due to Saliba’s absence caused by injury. While Ferdinand didn’t explicitly state that Saliba’s presence would have altered the outcome, he believes that including the Frenchman in the team could have made the race much more competitive.
When assessing Arsenal’s current defensive record, Ferdinand acknowledged the successful collaboration between Gabriel and Saliba, as well as the impactful presence of Declan Rice in front of them. He expressed that Gabriel and Saliba excel in individual confrontations, remain composed with the ball, and, importantly, benefit from having Declan Rice in front of them, which greatly contributes to their strong defensive record. As Arsenal strives to secure the Premier League championship, the exceptional performances of Gabriel and Saliba will undeniably be of utmost importance. Their strong collaboration and capacity to handle high-pressure scenarios provide the Gunners with a significant edge over their competitors.