Arsenal have finally announced the signing of defender William Saliba from French club St Etienne on Thursday.
The Gunners made the signing public through an official statement which read: “Highly-rated French defender William Saliba is joining us from Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on a long-term contract.
“The much sought after centre half will spend a season back on loan at Saint-Etienne before joining our squad next summer.”
Apart from Arsenal, their North London rivals Spurs were also interested in signing the young defender but the French centre-back chose the Emirates outfit.
And speaking to the Gunners, he has now revealed why he decided to snub the Lilywhites.
“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,” William Saliba said.
“So that really helped me to make my mind up.
“Yeah[upon hearing Arsenal’s initial interest], it’s always nice, but you have to keep working when you hear that a club is interested in signing you.
“You have to keep working; that’s what I’m doing and I’m proud to be signing here.
“…I spoke to Matteo [Guendouzi]. I even bumped into him at a funfair in Paris, and that’s where I told him that Arsenal wanted to sign me! He gently advised me to come here and explained what it was like.”
William Saliba will return back to St Etienne on loan for the whole of the 2019-20 season which is something that many Gunners fans have frowned upon. But he has also revealed why it is important for him to stay in France for one more year.
“Well, it was important first of all because I wanted to prove myself for another year at Saint-Etienne before I come to try and establish myself here at Arsenal,” the defender revealed.
“This is a big club, and when you come here, you need to be ready. So I’m going to try and have a great season with the club that developed me in order to be ready for Arsenal.”