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Ex-mentor: The 5 top qualities Arsenal defender Saliba boasts

William Saliba is being backed for great success at Arsenal by his former junior coach at AC Bondy.

Saliba is currently on-loan at St Etienne and will join the Gunners at the end of this season.

Fabio Frasconi, who coached Saliba at under-12 and under-13 level at his old club Bondy, told the ASSE website: "William will go far, very far. He reminds me of Raphael Varane.

“As a kid, he was already above the lot, technically clean, comfortable with the ball.

“I had positioned him at the centre forward position. Evolving then in central defence would not have allowed him, in my opinion, to progress.

“I feel enormous pride when I see him playing at this level, with this composure, this maturity, this accuracy, this sense of anticipation and this application.

“I have never seen a kid have such a desire to succeed. He wanted, from an early age, to be a professional footballer, already hated defeat, transcended himself.

“When the opponent was superior, he knew how to give himself, showing the example for the good of the team. How many times he changed the course of a match!

“Between us, moreover, it goes far beyond the simple educator-player relationship. A real relationship of trust has been established.

“I made him understand that education was important, that it had to be structured, to be attentive to his diet if he intended to go the course."

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Paul Vegas

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