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What a player! Micah Richards praises impeccable Arsenal star against Manchester United

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards says one Arsenal star was impeccable against Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Arsenal defender William Saliba was lauded as the best player on the pitch by Micah Richards after his commanding display at centre-back helped the Gunners claim a rare win at Manchester United on Sunday. 

Leandro Trossard’s first-half effort proved enough for Mikel Arteta’s side to end a miserable run at Old Trafford, with Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes forming an impenetrable defensive duo.

Saliba, who scooped the Man of the Match award, was praised by Richards for his impeccable timing and reading of the game. “What a player he is,” Richards told The Rest Is Football podcast. “It’s just his timing, you know when you are watching centre halves.

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“I know you guys love watching centre forwards, but I love watching defenders and how they read the game and their positioning and tackling, and the timing of his challenges today was just impeccable. The reading of the game was great, we all know that he’s got pace as well and he’s good on the ball, but what a player he is. The best player on the pitch by far.”

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Saliba’s stats from the match backed up Richards’ claims, with the 23-year-old completing 76 of 84 passes, winning 4/4 ground duels, and 3/3 aerial duels. He also made 6 clearances, 1 blocked shot, and 4 tackles, including 1 last-man tackle.

The Frenchman’s importance to this current Arsenal side has been further highlighted by his recent displays, with the Gunners enduring a miserable run of form at a crucial stage last term partly due to Saliba’s absence.

With Arsenal boasting the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just 28 goals in 37 games, Saliba and Magalhaes have excelled this season. Their ever-reliable partnership has been key to the Gunners’ success, and Richards believes Saliba is a standout player. 

“It’s not just his pace, it’s his reading of the game, his positioning, and his tackling. He’s a complete defender, and what a player he is.”

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