I’ll be at Arsenal next year: William Saliba

william saliba-st

william saliba

Amid concerns that he is distracted about his future, the defender has downplayed the suggestion before insisting that he will return to Arsenal in the summer. Saliba joined the Gunners last summer in a £27 million summer deal before being immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne in order to get some more first-team football under his belt before trying to make room for himself at the Emirates.

The highly-rated young centre-back, 18, has spent much of the season sidelined with injury including a broken foot in November which saw him ruled out until earlier this month.

However, he’s back now, featuring in the last three Ligue 1 fixtures (which were all losses) as he continues to gain experience before heading to the Premier League next season.


Saliba insists he is fully focused on his current club – but says he is keeping a close eye on Arsenal as he knows he will definitely be in north London next season.

Saliba said:

“For now, I’m 300% focused on Saint-Étienne. My head isn’t elsewhere.

“Next year, I’ll be at Arsenal, but I still follow their results.”

Interestingly, Saliba plies his trade with former Gunners defender Mathieu Debuchy who is helping him to continuously improve.

matheiu debucy

Debuchy told ‘The Official Ligue 1 Podcast’:

“He’s a great player. I’m so happy for him to play next season for a big club like Arsenal.

“He improves every game and I think he is a great player. He’s strong with good technique. He’s quick.

“I think he has a lot of quality to play at Arsenal.”

Another of William Saliba’s team-mates familiar with the Premier League is ex-Newcastle star Yohan Cabaye, who arrived at Saint-Etienne this season.

He too echoed the sentiments of Debuchy, while also highlighting team-mate Wesley Fofana as a player to watch from the club in the near future.

Cabaye added:

“He’s like a big man – he’s only 18 but he’s like a big man. The way he plays, him and Wesley Fofana are both fantastic.

“The future look bright for them and I hope they continue in the same way.

“He’s strong and hopefully he will adapt himself really quickly. In a club like Arsenal with French players I think he can do really well.”