Former West Ham United defender Anton Ferdinand has warned that Arsenal star William Saliba would be exposed next season.

He believes the forwards in the league are likely to learn the defenders tactics, saying that the season after a breakout is always the toughest.

Before sustaining the injury that has kept on the sideline for weeks now, the 22-year-old has cemented himself as an irreplaceable starter in the Arsenal team.

It is his first season playing since returning from a loan spell at Marseille.

A right-footed centre-back blessed with tackling and heading, the eight-cap France international helped Arsenal launch a title push before his back injury this term.

Speaking on Vibe with Five, Ferdinand said, “Do you know what? In Saliba, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got next season.

“The only reason I say it, I know how hard the second year is. First year, there’s the adrenaline.

“People don’t really know you. People don’t really know how you play. The respect levels aren’t really there. The second year’s always the hardest.”

Arsenal have suffered a dip in form during Saliba’s absence in the last few weeks.

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