Arsenal tipped to refuse £127m for best signing since ‘probably Thierry Henry’ in mammoth move

Ciaran McCarthy
Saliba Odegaard
William Saliba and Martin Odegaard celebrate for Arsenal

A journalist believes Arsenal would “hang up the phone” if they were offered £127million for William Saliba, who is the subject of the best piece of business they’ve done since “probably Thierry Henry”.

The Gunners are climbing back to the heights they were at for a sustained period in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They’ve not won the Premier League since the Invincibles season in 2003/04.

But Mikel Arteta’s current Arsenal outfit are on the up. They led the league for most of the last campaign before falling five points short, and they are currently level on points with table-topping rivals Tottenham.

That this side is the best the Gunners have had for years is evident, and that means there are some quality assets within it.

One journalist believes Saliba has one of the highest ceilings in the squad, and is one of their most important signings since a man who is widely considered the best player in the club’s history, Henry.

“I think Saliba, at the very least, has the potential to be the best player in the world in his position,” he told Inside Arsenal.

“You don’t sign players like that more than once in a generation. The last time you would say that about a signing is probably Thierry Henry.

“That £27 million now, if you put a one in front of it, then Arsenal are still probably hanging up the phone if you try to sign Saliba.

“He is just everything you want in a centre-back. Kind of like [Virgil] van Dijk at Liverpool.”

That Saliba is yet to miss a minute of Premier League action this season showcases how highly he is thought of by manager Arteta. Given how important he is to the side, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be sold for that figure, as he’s a priceless asset.

That being said, it might be a bit outlandish to put him on the same level as Henry.

In terms of impact, Henry was the Premier League’s top scorer in three separate seasons, won the league twice with Arsenal, won player of the season twice, and while it’s not directly relevant to his Gunners career, won the European Championships and the World Cup with France.

If Saliba is part of the side for a few title wins at the Emirates, then it would be hard to think he won’t have been a useful part of those triumphs, but it’s also difficult to see a defender having the same impact as a star striker who scored the most goals ever for the club.

However, since Henry, only the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have been potentially more important than Saliba out of players who have been bought, and one of those players might have the bigger impact if the Gunners do win the title.

READ MORE: Arsenal: Saliba 3rd in ranking of every signing made by Arteta and Emery since Wenger left