There’s been plenty of transfer rumours involving Arsenal and centre backs this summer, and it makes sense when you look at the squad.
Current options like David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Mustafi and Sokratis all have massive flaws, so they need someone to come in and anchor the defence for years to come.
There’s a possibility that they might already have the solution at the club, as William Saliba looks set to return from a loan spell at St Etienne to play for The Gunners next season.
He’s only 19 so he can’t be considered as the finished article just yet, but there’s a lot to like about his game.
He’s pacey aggressive in his style, he looks like a capable defender and he’s comfortable on the ball too – everything you want in the modern centre back.
There’s another reason for the fans to like him, after some of his comments were reported by Get Football News France:
“I fell for Arsenal from the start. A number of French players have been there. Arsenal has not been at the top of its game for the last three, four years. But, like St Étienne, its badge, its history and its fans made me want it. I have a crush on Arsenal. What it gives off speaks to me. I had no hesitation. I am discovering another world.”
Usually a new signing will just pay lip service and talk about them being a big club and follow it up with a cliche like “I just want to hit the ground running”, but this shows that Saliba has a real love for the club.
The fans will always give a player time to settle and improve if they fell like they are being represented on the pitch, so it’s going to be fascinating to see how Saliba gets on next season.