According to the latest reports from the Mirror, Arsenal are interested in signing Saint-Etienne’s defender William Saliba. The 18-year-old centre back is being considered as the next Raphael Varane who is currently seen as one of the best defenders in the world.
The Gunners conceded 51 goals in the Premier League this season. None of the top four sides conceded even 40 goals, and that is the primary reason why Unai Emery’s men failed to secure the Champions League berth by finishing in the top 4.
It is being said that Emery himself has identified the 6ft4 inch centre back as a possible option for the upcoming summer transfer window. Saliba enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Ligue 1 as he managed to make 19 appearances in all competitions. It is believed that Arsenal saw the Frenchman in action during Saint-Etienne’s 3-0 win against Nice on Saturday.
Saliba signed a new deal in April, but it is believed that the defender would still leave in the summer. Currently, the defender is contracted at Saint Etienne until 2023. It is believed that Emery would be given only £40m to spend in the summer transfer market, but that figure could increase if they manage to win the Europa League finals which would ensure a place for them in the next season’s Champions League.
What will Saliba bring to the table?
Given his height, Saliba is dominant in the air which has been an area of concern for the Gunners. However, don’t take him for a slouch on the pitch as he can surprise quite a few with his pace as well. He is still a work in progress and Arsenal shouldn’t expect miracles and 10/10 performances straightaway.
We believe that if Saliba can adapt to the challenges of the Premier League, then the 18-year-old can become a top defender in a few years. Arsenal could be the right club for him as they need a long term centre half.
It remains to be seen whether the Gunners will be able to lure him as even Manchester United are said to be interested in him. Moreover, Saint Etienne can demand a decent figure for the French defender as he recently signed a new contract at the club.
Should Arsenal go for him?
All in all, Arsenal should try everything in their means to land the defender as Saliba has the potential to be the mainstay of Arsenal’s defence for years to come. With not much transfer cash to play with, Emery might not be able to bring in ready-made players, and someone like Saliba suits the profile for the Gunners.