William Saliba, a center back for Arsenal, receives high praise from Garth Crooks for his performance against Everton.

William Saliba, an Arsenal center back, was singled out by Garth Crooks for praise following his performance against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Crooks praised Saliba for his ability to remain composed under pressure.

Leandro Trossard’s 69th-minute goal gave the Gunners a 1-0 victory over the Toffees.

Despite relentless pressure from the home team on the visitors’ defense, Saliba and his defensive teammates managed to preserve the victory.

Crooks believes he has not recently seen a better Arsenal center-back than the 22-year-old Frenchman, who was outstanding all day.

“Beto tried to run William Saliba down his left-hand side to get a strike in on goal during the first half on Sunday at Goodison Park,” he wrote in his BBC Team of the Week column.

The Everton striker, however, shouldn’t have bothered.

“Saliba ran Beto and the ball out of the game with such ease that it was like taking candy from a baby,” said the referee.

“I haven’t seen an Arsenal center-back look so at ease under pressure in a very long time.

“Saliba is also shrewd enough to know when to back out of tackles he can’t possibly win cleanly in the penalty area.”.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was brought down in the box after being tackled by Saliba, but replays revealed that the Arsenal player had only brilliantly stopped the midfielder in his tracks rather than making enough contact to warrant a penalty.

The Gunners should be grateful for such a top player because it would have been a foul and a penalty if another centre-back had made the challenge.

After Saliba’s injury at the end of the previous campaign derailed their title challenge, manager Mikel Arteta will now be hoping that he can stay healthy throughout this campaign.

In large part as a result of his absence, Arsenal lost three and drew three of their last eleven league games.

If they want to win the Premier League this season, they must have him available for every game.

Following their Champions League group stage opening match against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, they play in their league opener against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Saliba will be hoping to make an impression in both contests.

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