Arsenal FC Complete £27m William Saliba Signing

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The Arsenal FC summer transfer window has finally come alive this week, as the club have made a double swoop in player acquisitions. The first announcement was a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos.

Now comes the arrival of defender William Saliba, an 18-year-old who currently plies his trade with St. Etienne. As part of the £27 million deal, the teenager will be immediately loaned back to ASSE.  This supplements the other, very minor, signing made earlier in the window: 18-year-old striker Gabriel Martinelli.

While William Saliba certainly has a lot of promise and potential, he won’t be contributing to the squad until at least 2020-21, and that’s unfortunate because Arsenal need to fix their leaky defense right now. In order to get back into the top four (this will be the third straight year that Arsenal are relegated to Europa League) the north London side must address the immediate concerns of the back line.

They haven’t done so, and thus it’s easy to understand why Josh Kroenke has made the controversial public remarks that he has about the team’s fortunes for the upcoming season. And why there is such a supporter backlash against the Kroenkes.

That’s another story for another day however. Today is about the formal, official welcoming of William Saliba.

“We’re delighted William is joining us,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said via a club statement. “Many teams wanted him, but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future.”

“He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group.”

The statement attributed to Saliba reads:

“This is the biggest club in England for me, so it was an easy decision. I didn’t think twice about signing here, so I’m really happy.

“This is a big club, and when you come here, you need to be ready. So I’m going to try to have a great season with the club that developed me in order to be ready for Arsenal.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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