Rio Ferdinand slams Arsenal’s ‘waste of money’ as he singles out ‘big problem’

Rio Ferdinand has slammed Arsenal’s signing of William Saliba as a “waste of money” while questioning Mikel Arteta’s defensive coaching.

The Gunners struggled at the start of the season but have now won their last three Premier League matches.

Questions have regularly been asked of Arsenal’s back-line with the likes of Gabriel and David Luiz struggling.

Saliba was signed in 2019 though is yet to make a first-team appearance for Arsenal and could leave the Emirates this month.

And the signing has left Manchester United legend Ferdinand scratching his head, as has other areas of Gunners recruitment.

Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel: “I still think Arsenal need a top centre half, all the problems stem from that.

“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.

  • Edu details Arsenal's plan for William Saliba after being shipped out on loan to Nice

“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.”

Though Ferdinand has praised the Gunners for the way they have brought youth through in recent times.

He added: “I think Arsenal have really benefited from investing and believing in young players.

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“I think Saka, Emile, they’ve been outstanding. [Joe] Willock at times has come in and done stuff, same for [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles.

“Without them in this squad, Arsenal would be in even worse shape. Before that they were reliant on [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, who hasn’t produced this season.

“Without these young players coming in and holding the fort, with all that’s going on, I don’t know where Arsenal would be and the fans would be in the doldrums. Martinelli, for me, is the best one.”

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