Tottenham’s North London rivals, Arsenal have announced the signings of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne for a fee claimed to be around £27m including add-ons (BBC).
However, Arsenal fans will have to wait for a while to see Saliba playing for the club as the centre half been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 18/19 season.
The 18-year-old broke into the Ligue 1 club’s first team last season and surprised people with the maturity and composure he displayed. The French U-20 international was also reportedly being tracked by Spurs (The Sun).
After putting pen to paper on a deal with the Gunners, Saliba gave an interview to Arsenal’s official website in which he explained why he had picked Arsenal over Spurs.
When asked why he snubbed Spurs for the Gunners, the defender said, “Well, the history, the badge… since I was little, I’ve been watching Arsenal play in the Champions League and so on, and there are a lot of French players who have come through here. So that really helped me to make my mind up.”
Meanwhile, the £25 million release clause on Toby Alderweireld’s new contract has now expired, thus increasing the likelihood of the Belgian staying at the club beyond this summer.
Spurs Web Opinion
With all the problems that Arsenal are having in defence, they need to sign someone who can come in and improve them straight away. While Saliba is a fantastic prospect, he will need time to develop into a top defender. Additionally, he won’t be available to play any part at all next season.
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