Arsenal have signed young centre-back William Saliba from St Etienne for a reported transfer fee of £27 million.
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.”
DONE DEAL: @Arsenal have confirmed the signing of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne on a long-term contract.
The defender will rejoin Saint-Etienne on loan for the 2019/20 season. pic.twitter.com/ReWls6zhZS
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 25, 2019
The Gunners have spent a substantial amount in signing William Saliba but the defender has been loaned back to his former club which has brought in a fair amount of negative criticism from the fans.
But speaking after the signing, William Saliba had claimed that he wanted to head back to St Etienne since he wanted to prove himself.
“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.”
And now Arsenal Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has also backed this statement that William Saliba needed more experience before playing in Premier League.
Sanllehi said: “We are pleased about that because the level of intensity and the level of demand in the Premier League is very strong.
“He’s probably too young for that yet, as I said, we need to protect our young talent.
“We think it will be good for him to be in a less demanding league to continue his formative period, so we’ll have a top defender for a decade.”