18 year old Franco-Cameroonian defender William Alain André Gabriel Saliba is Arsenal’s second signing of the season after Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos joint them from Real Madrid.
Saliba will be loaned back to Saint Etienne this season.
The 18 year old French youth international of Cameroonian descent made 16 appearances last season for Saint Etienne in his debut season after breaking into their first team in September 2018.
Arsenal confirmed the deal this Thursday after lengthy negotiations.
It’s a massive pleasure to sign for a really, really big English club,” Saliba told Arsenal.com.
“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.”
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On why he chose Arsenal, Saliba said, “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.”
“Yeah, I spoke to Matteo” he revealed. “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.”
Saliba becomes an Arsenal player 12 years after the departure of another Cameroonian Defender in Lauren Mayer Etame who spent 7 years at the club from 2000. In his time around, Etame made 159 appearances for the club scoring 7 goals and won 7 trophies including the famous invincible Premier League title of the 2003/2004 season.