Arsenal seem to be actively looking for additions to their fragile back line, which conceded 51 goals in the 2018/19 Premier League season.
However, while it seems that an experienced, defensive leader of top quality is what the team needs, they are reportedly interested in the 18-year-old William Saliba from Saint-Etienne, according to Goal.com. Not only that, but the report names the youngster as the club’s “main defensive target”.
Saliba has had a very good season in France, making a total of 17 appearances in all competitions for his club. Teenage defenders with the ability of putting in performances worthy of a first team place in one of Europe’s strongest five leagues don’t exactly grow on trees, and from that perspective, it certainly makes sense to stock up for the future – to sign a player the manager will hopefully have enough time to work with and turn him into an important part of the team.
The team’s need seems more urgent that, however; it is to be hoped that this would turn out to be one of those situations where the club prove the doubting supporters wrong.
Arsenal have apparently been watching the youngster carefully, and they’ve been impressed with the level of playing maturity which is incredibly high for his age, but they aren’t the only Premier League club monitoring the youngster’s situation. Manchester United, whose need at the back is very similar to that of the Gunners, are also interested.
The club are slightly worried about the “aging” squad, and they’re therefore looking to add some fresh blood to even the matter out a bit. The services of forward Gabriel Martinelli of Ituano FC, 17, have apparently already been secured, and the addition of Saliba seems like another step in that direction.
The problem is, he signed a new four-year contract in April this year, and with the interest in him constantly growing, it is believed it would take as much as £25 million to secure his signature despite his age.