By Kevin Campbell

27th Jul, 2022 | 3:28pm

Arsenal idol makes Virgil van Dijk comparison after 'huge' Mikel Arteta claim - 'we've got a gem'

Kevin Campbell has claimed Arsenal have “got an absolute gem” in William Saliba.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Gunners and Everton striker said the 21-year-old “is a Bentley” if Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk “is a Rolls Royce.”

Saliba has returned to Mikel Arteta’s side this pre-season following an impressive loan spell with Marseille in the 2021-22 campaign.

As quoted by Football.London (24 July), Arteta claimed the centre-half has “huge potential” when evaluating his performances during the tour.

The France international has excelled when playing alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.

When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of Saliba’s pre-season, Campbell said: “If Virgil van Dijk is a Rolls Royce, Saliba is a Bentley.

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“He is never flustered and his passing is a lot better than a lot of people give him credit for. He is smart, quick, strong, physical, powerful and does not make mistakes.

“I think he needed that extra year at Marseille, if I am honest. I think that has really helped his confidence. Now when you see him play at Arsenal, and I know it is pre-season, he looks mature.

“The Chelsea game was a test. He was up against top players and he passed with flying colours. It looks like he’s been playing alongside Gabriel for years. I have been really impressed by the young man.

“We will find out a lot more when the season starts but from what I can see, Arsenal have got an absolute gem here. He is such a calming influence at the back.”

In other news, a pundit expects Nicolas Pepe and two other Arsenal stars to exit after Sky reveal.