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Rio Ferdinand dubs Arsenal’s £27million signing William Saliba a ‘waste of money’

Rio Ferdinand has branded Arsenal defender William Saliba ‘a waste of money’.

The Gunners splashed out £27million on the former Saint-Etienne defender but still only 19 years of age, he is yet to see any first-team action at the Emirates Stadium.

And he has now returned to France on a loan deal, joining OGC Nice until the end of the season in a bid to get more first-team minutes under his belt.

On the back of that decision, Manchester United legend Ferdinand clams Saliba looks like being a ‘waste of money’.

Discussing Arsenal’s centre-backs, he told his FIVE YouTube channel: “I still think Arsenal need a top centre half, all the problems stem from that.

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“You’ve got a great nucleus of young players, there’s seven or eight young players there who everyone is talking about.

“But you’ve got to put the pieces around them and that’s the big problem. That’s been the big problem with recruitment at Arsenal for so long.

“Saliba, what’s happened with him? It’s a waste of money it seems at the minute. I don’t know what’s happened.

“Gabriel has been indifferent. Rob Holding’s playing centre back, what does that say? When you see Holding as the Arsenal captain, you could never imagine that a few years ago.”

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Arsenal have conceded 19 goals in their first 17 Premier League games, which doesn’t actually point to much cause for concern with only three other teams conceding less in the top-flight.

That’s something Arteta seems to be aware of, willing to let Saliba depart on loan, though Arsenal will be hoping the move will also help Saliba in his personal life having gone through a difficult time following the loss of his parents.