L’Equipe: William Saliba agrees five year contract with Arsenal

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According to L’Equipe, Arsenal and William Saliba have agreed terms on a five year contract which could see the defender move to North London ‘very quickly’.

Having been granted permission to speak to the player by Saint-Etienne, what remains is for the two clubs to find an agreement over the transfer, which could include a compromise which sees a deal go through but the player to remain in France for one more season.

Essentially, we’d buy him and loan him back to the Ligue 1 outfit, thus seeing him develop and arrive at Arsenal a more mature player next season.

It wouldn’t do a lot for the centre of our defence right now, while others would ask what we could realistically expect from an 18 year old anyway.

ASSE have some previous with this kind of move, selling Kurt Zouma to Chelsea in January 2014 but keeping him until the end of that campaign.

As ever with these kinds of stories, there are things which might well be part of the negotiations but don’t end up in the final deal, so it remains to be seen exactly how we view the player.

We’d be surprised if we agreed to the loan stipulation, but let’s see what happens, and it does seem as if our interest is pretty concrete.

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Leon
Leon

Another top class player…
Liverpool and Man City must be shitting bricks…

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Indeed, another quality player than can improve our squad is coming. I can’t wait to see him showing his top class

Santori
Santori

How is he quality?, he barely played 16 matches for St Etienne and they aren’t the most frugal defensively either.

Goontang
Goontang

We signed rob holding from a team relegated from the championship. Our season fell apart after his injury didnt it

Santori
Santori

Forget City or Liverpool….Everton or Wolves will be quaking.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

If he’s good enough he’s old enough. Tony Adams was just a kid when he broke through

Forever Invincible
Forever Invincible

What I would give for another Tony Adams…

WicklowGunner
WicklowGunner

We won’t ever have another Tony Adams because we keep importing our defenders.

James
James

Yeah, look at John stones, what a rock in defense… and he was so cheap… why on earth import a defender when English ones are so well priced and don’t make mistakes

Neil #2
Neil #2

Yes indeed. No nonsense. Get the job done home or away and demand the same of teammates.

Nofuture
Nofuture

Impossible, nowadays they don’t allow professionals to drink.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Or a Martin Keown…

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Looks a beast

Santori
Santori

If looks could kill…or play.

Me2
Me2

And this is supposed to do what to help with a club in crisis?
Arsenal are the most piss poorly managed club in world football.
All they think of is making money – not what goes on in the dressing room or on the pitch just as long as they are making money…

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Me2 think the same way.

Santori
Santori

Count me in.

We are really doing ourselves favours. Emery gone in 6 months.

Some of the people here will be wondering where we went wrong still….blaming Mustafi who will be back playing well at some other club.

gooner
gooner

Woke up to a constipated arseblog post.
Great way to start a week

Bendtnerschridtmastree
Bendtnerschridtmastree

Constipation, it’s hard.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Like concrete 😮

Matt
Matt

Maybe we could loan them Mustafi and let them have a go at maturing him instead. Maybe they like a challenge.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

I heard we discussed that with them too, but they turned it down, calling it Mission Impossible

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Would that affect his home grown status?

Mattkc32
Mattkc32

De Ligt is only 19, he’s doing alright at senior level it’s fair to say

A Different George
A Different George

Completely irrelevant. Pele was great as a teenager. Mozart too.

Santori
Santori

Yeah but Saliba isn’t De ligt.

You’re operating on hope rather than proven track record.

With a club like us at the moment, we can’t afford to take such risk.

The squad needs proven ability but we seem to be in the habit of skimping. NOw it seems we are buying like an Everton or Wolves….if not actually worse. West Ham got Pablo Fornals. We are going for Ligue 2.

Wake up.

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Stop telling people to wake up you fucking bell.
People can have opinions and can think differently to you. The key is not to ram it down their throat by say.. repeatedly spamming the same old recycled shit and acting like you have some secret access to a “truth” that us poor idiots can’t see.

If you can’t spot the idiot in the room, it’s probably you.

You genuinely make this a worse place to be.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Easy now, Santori expresses an opinion like everyone else, albeit an unpopular one — no need to ram it back down his throat.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

How do you feel about Elneny, Santori?
I think he should be captain and should play every game. What’s your thoughts? Never really heard your thoughts on him.

James
James

Also. Should we have signed Mahrez?

Deo
Deo

We might actually have some sort of squad building for the future plan. Martinelli, Schubert, Saliba, Claude-Maurice. As long as there is a plan, I am on board with being also-rans for a while. It’s the stupidity of letting Ramsey, Welbeck, Sanchez go for no money and then keeping Ozil for this much that irks me.

Alex
Alex

And the wages of Jenkinson for not one minute on the pitch! Btw, Sanchez left for Mki, so it was for money.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Technically no money changed hands.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

That is not true. Tons of money went to both players and their agents

sambo
sambo

Jenks for all his ”Im an Arsenal fan” jibe, really did fleece us and doesn’t seem to care if he plays or not….He could have done us and himself a favour by finding a club with a wage that’s more fitting to his ability if he really wanted to play

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Why should he? Football isn’t a charity, is it.
Why don’t you quite your job, so that your employers can outsource it to someone in eastern Europe to save a buck?

Man, it’s really no wonder why football fans are the worst; always demand “loyalty” but are the first to turn on any player. Acting like Jenks forced Wenger to give him a crazy contract in the first place.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Exactly. Turned down a £7M move to Palace 2 years ago

Santori
Santori

Jenkinson is a waste of time.

Forget loyalty or allegiance, we can’t afford to carry passengers.

Just think Emery prefers to start the suspect Musrafi ahead of Jenkinson at Rback.

Says it all.

Christopher Wreh
Christopher Wreh

What’s this – Santori calling Mustafi ‘suspect’? What’s up mate, lovers tiff?

Kingsley
Kingsley

I do worry about it being a bit like the last time we had this “project youth” plan and didn’t win anything. In the end, we just developed the likes of Nasri, Fabregas, Clichy et al to go on and win at other clubs.

I would be up for “project give Nelson, Bielik and Smith Rowe a go!” though.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

I mean, tbf with that squad we were regular CL competitors, weren’t also-rans (so teams actually feared us back then, unlike our latter days where we become the European whipping boys), got to a CL final (and later a Semi/Quarters), and also came the closest to winning the league post-invincibles.

Outside of the FA Cups, we just spent stupid money on players who decided to live a comfy life here, with no desire to leave their stupidly paid contracts.

Between now and then, I’d pick Project Youth all over again. That squad would totally spank our current one anyways, and I think that squad would be better able to compete now. Add Bielik, ESR, Eddie & Nelson to the mix and at least it gives me a sense of hope and something to be excited about.

Kingsley
Kingsley

It was a different time though. The competition in England had weaker coaching and spent a lot less than now. If we had that squad now, I don’t think they’d do well. We had players who were never good enough (Denilson, The Lord and Eboue) wh were never good enough.

Santori
Santori

This is a poor time to embark on ‘project youth’ or try to emulate Ajax.

We are out of CL and losing luster in market.

Plus the team hasn’t exactly delivered at minimum on Europa to suggest any sense of progress.

Not saying these younger or lesser reputation players won’t /can’t deliver but with a club like us, we should be aspiting higher and giving the gaffer way better ammunition.

Defense needs experience. We should be breaking the bank to get a De Vrij to try and claw back into competition above us.

Instead we are punting again.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

I do agree that current times are more competitive, however I would say that team would still do better than this team, and considering we missed out on top 4 by a point, I think they would’ve got us into the top 4 and possibly also the Europa.

I mean, you say Eboue, yet he’s probably better than Litch or Jenkinson.
You say Denilson, yet I’d say he’s better than Elneny, if not equal.
You say Lord B, but he was our third/fourth striker. We barely had a 3rd choice striker for most of last season.

Let’s not forget Project Youth 1.0 had;
– Clichy & Sagna at fullback. Better than our current ones (bar Bellerin, and objectively I’d say Sagna was still better).

– a Midfield of the likes of Flamini, Cesc, Diaby, Song I’d say beats our current midfield of Xhaka, Torreira, Douzi & Ozil.

– Our current first choice wide players are Mikhi and Iwobi. Project Youth had Rosicky & Hleb. Nuff said. Not even mentioning Nasri either.

– Our current strike force is pretty amazing in Lacca & Auba, but remember we had Van Persie & Adebayor (both coonts). Each of them capable of 30-goals. Coupled with the fact that sure, we had Lord B as back up, but we also had Eduardo, that’s better than what we have.

Amazingly, somehow I’d say that the only areas the current squad beats that squad is keeper (Leno > Almunia) and amazingly our CBs back then were somehow mostly worse (Djourou, Gallas, and Senderos).

Forever Invincible
Forever Invincible

Very happy to hear that we’re “close” to securing him. Seems quick, smooth, and brave.
One slight concern is his heading but let’s be honest he wouldn’t be Arsenal-material if he was a physical monster who wins every ball in the air. He’d just make the rest of the lads look bad and Mustafi would be looking for a new career…

(Plus he can improve! still young enough)

Deep

Mustafi, ironically, is the best header of the ball among our current defenders.

Chrispy
Chrispy

Still better than Mustafi

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Playing with one less player is better than Mustafi!

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

Ffs, this Mustafi bashing is getting old.

We all know the kind of player he is and we all pretty much agree his time at Arsenal is up, but every single article here there is someone trying to make a (not anymore) funny comment about him. Move over.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Yeah it’s getting really tired now. There’s a sense of sheepish mentality going on, because Andrew & James make jibes at him, seems the rest of the fans feel the need to follow and run with it to the nth degree.

Mustafi is not good enough and his time is done, but he is simply not the worst defender we’ve ever had.

And no, the world will not implode if we don’t sell him this summer. We just don’t have to play him, but he’s still a worthy squad option (just not my type of squad option).

Geefive
Geefive

True. He isn’t the worst. I remember watching Silvestre and wanting to reach through the fucking TV, grab him by his cro magnon throat, and choke the living shit out of him on numerous occasions….

Santori
Santori

Exactly what I’ve been saying.

Mavropanos hasn’t been better than Mustafi.

Plus we have held with clean sheets WITH Mustafi.

There is a reason Mustafi filled in at Rback ahead of Jenkinson.

Plus we leaked 3 goals against Wolves WITHOUT Mustafi, duly repeated in the europa finals agianst Chelsea.

Tired old trite.

People need to be way more balanced and less gullible to media suggestions.

A Different George
A Different George

The real problem with the Mustafi jokes is that not only is he not the worst, but often he is very good; supporters blame him for things that obviously are not his mistakes or not mistakes at all (conceding a throw-in rather than risking a pass). He was never on the pitch in Baku, and we looked exactly the same as in our worst games of the year.

But the genuine, and very serious, mistakes happen too often to trust him, and he is surely aware that he is not trusted. No player can be happy in these circumstances and that probably makes things even worse.

jdg
jdg

Technically Mustafi isn’t bad. He’s just a bit thick…and unfortunately he plays a game where he needs to use his head.

Marvelous Mustafi
Marvelous Mustafi

Poor miserable Mustafi

Con
Con

Getting in early for a top talent. Thank fuck.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

Nice. Happy if true.
Let’s not forget our own players too. Hoping Beilik is given a chance. Had another excellent game yesterday for Poland.

Futsboller
Futsboller

As a centreback, no less — the kid seems to own both roles pretty well. Perhaps we didn’t ruin him by playing him out of position after all!

Ko Aunglinn
Ko Aunglinn

ONLY the problem is argeed with the team😁😁😁

Devlin
Devlin

I do not know much about him as a player, but he is very highly rated by those who have seen him play and statistically, he is a very interesting buy. I am however more excited that we are moving with the tide, rather than against it, as we have done in the recent past. We have missed out on players from various nations “Golden generations” and now we are taking advantage of France’s extraordinary period of producing Exciting centreback prospects.

We missed out on young French attackers while Mbappe, Coman, Dembele and etc where available, we missed out on Belgium’s talented group, Croatia’s solid national team group, Spain’s 20 to 24 year old group currently amassing considerable minutes where they even seem like they have been around forever and lastly, the endless supply of top South American talent. To make things worse, We have had the star or core groups of England’s recently successful youth teams, and have not been able to either promote and groom the players, or sell one for even half of what Solanke went for.

I still do not know what a signing like this does for Medley, Mavropanos, Sheaf, McGuinness and Bielik. Even Chambers can be piled along with those young players, but if this kind of signing isn’t followed up by a process of acquiring such talents as our MO, then young players are going to start shunning us during a time where there is such a demand for them.

Santori
Santori

We are buying second tier players

Even West Ham, Wolves and Everton are buying a notch above us now.

Its worrying.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

You don’t know that.

In 5 years time he could be the best CB in the world & I’m sure you’ll be typing why didn’t we sign him?

VAgooner
VAgooner

Isn’t this exactly what people were saying when Arsene went out and plucked Koscielny from (gasp!) L2? That worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

Let’s let the football people, you know, do their job before we go passing judgement.

laudgunner
laudgunner

What will happen to Bielik?? Hope we dont regret leaving our OWN.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Tbf, Bielik played mostly at CDM during his loan (23 starts there vs 7 starts at CB), so hopefully he can also be integrated into the squad to cover some of the midfield minutes – especially since Emery doesn’t seem to rate Elneny at all. Might be interesting to see a double pivot of Bielik and Guendouzi (perhaps with ESR or Willock ahead if them) in some of the early EL and domestic cup games.

When last did we have a few tall, physically imposing midfielders with decent technical ability in the squad? Also, if Emery is going to keep shifting between 3 and 4 at the back, it would probably be useful to have a player who is comfortable at both CB and CDM, at least on the bench (same applies to Chambers, I suppose…).

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

If there’s one thing I want to see next season is a 3-man midfield ala what Freddie did; a DM like Beilik flanked by 2 CMs ahead of him.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Indeed — it would allow us to lock into a back 4 consistently with a proper shield in front of the two centrebacks, and would enable us to transition to attack more quickly. I’ll be surprised if Emery gives us a few more of our youngsters in key positions next year, but I hope he does. We’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and everything to gain.

Rich
Rich

This lad has only 16 professional starts, but pretty sure he’d get some game time in the early rounds of the Europa + Domestic cups to get up to speed.

We’ve seen last season with Guendouzi, he struggled a little in the challenge and also the pace of the game where he’d get caught on the ball.

I think Guendouzi looks a fantastic talent and plays with real conviction, but the reality is he cost £7 million, because all young players are a gamble, and he was 2-3 years away from finding real consistency.

Reports this lad will cost as much as €30 million, which is a huge amount of cash for a club with our budget, and also a team that needs a serious injection of players who can hit the ground running.

I’m not sure there’s any 18 Yr old centre backs playing regularly in the PL? And I struggle to think of any examples going back a long way.

You’ve got De Ligt at Ajax at 19, but he’s got 100+ games behind him, and also a fair few international appearances.

This type of signing suggests we know that we’re 2-3 seasons away from creating a side that can really compete.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Guendouzi is a great example of how to develop a young player in a single season — give him responsibility, allow him to express himself, and play him in more than just a few cup games. Play him regularly, so that he knows he’s a part of the team.

He still needs to develop his awareness on the ball (doesn’t seem to sense when he is in danger) and get those eyes in the back of his head (watching the WWC, I’ve been so impressed by that awareness of danger and quick move to get out of it), but he’s going to be a great player to watch for years to come.

It’s tough to put so much pressure on young players at the heart of the defence, but there are a few of them who are ready to carry the weight — a young, physically engaging defence (Holding, Mavro, Bielik, etc.) guided by the right hand could be just what we need.

Santori
Santori

The problem with this is you will have 10 failures for every one Guendouzi or they will take time to come good.

It’s a massive risk.

The club seems to be regressing.

We should be mixing in premium players now not risking on youth.

Unless this is a free (I doubt it), we need to be investing in more ready made players.

Futsboller
Futsboller

We don’t have the funds for premium players — it’s a reality we’re all going to have to accept now. Wasn’t what it was supposed to be, but neither was the tumble out of the CL. We need to fight back up the hard way.

A Different George
A Different George

It is one of the interesting things about watching the women that the best players seem to have extraordinary positional awareness.

Savage
Savage

The new Varane?

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

The first Saliba.

Stuey
Stuey

Spend half our budget on a player then loan him back to selling club.
Yes… how very Arsenal.

Harold

Hehe.. This crazy sme how and think by allowing him to mature in the premier league.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

I would not be surprised at all if we pay them all of our 40 mil, and loan him back for next season. 😂😂😂😂😊

NairoGunner89
NairoGunner89

1st summer in a long time I am excited about the players we are linked to – with the exception of Carasco simply because his fee eats a huge chunk of our transfer budget

All the players look promising, they are young. It very much feels like the club has resolved to building for the future. Which is an intention I can get behind as a fan as it informs me to reign in my expectations and be patient with the club. I prefer this to going into the season expecting us to win trophies, less anxiety imo.

Santori
Santori

You must be joking, we are not even recruiting like a mid table club.

All this excitement will come back to haunt you just wait, when we end up wallowing in mid table.

As bad as stagnation in 5th is, we could get way worse.

NairoGunner89
NairoGunner89

You could be right.

However that does not change the fact that it looks like the club has a plan for the 1st time in many years.

So only time will tell.

That being said, you have every right to be pessimistic same as I have every right to be optimistic.

👍🏾

Nik

The boy is huge and already playing first team ball. As I see it, there is probably a 30 percent chance that he’ll do worse than Mustafi. But I’m sure that’s a risk we all would like the club to take.

Santori
Santori

You can do worse then Mustafi

Just ask Koscielny and Sokratis at Wolves.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang

Since the sheik poured in billions,MC have won the title 5 times.Chelsea likewise.
Tell you what. Arsenal are no more a top class club and soon will be shown the door
by the group of 20 top teams.

Santori
Santori

Sadly I agree.

I think they are trying to be clever but our buying team has been lazy if not poor.

Torreira has been merely OK. A huge spell over Xmas when he cost us 4 or 5 goals.

Mhkitaryan was a waste of time.

GUendouzi was a good buy but they now think we can reap similar results with going back to Sampdoria but Sampdoria isn’t Monaco some years back.

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

If he’s better than Mustafi get him in no matter his age!

Santori
Santori

Not necessarily.

There is huge risk with him.

Not everyone is better than Mustafi. Mustafi still held us together for large spells last season when both Koscielny and Sokratis were not available.

And when we had the Sokratis-Koscielny pairing against Wolves, we crumbled still. Ditto finals against Chlesea.

I think you need to be a bit more lucid.

Mentally Drained Gooner
Mentally Drained Gooner

I know nothing about this player. Never seen him play and never heard of him. But sometimes just by looking at a players photo you get a feel that he’s going to be a great player. I have that feeling about him. Hopes he signs for us!

Santori
Santori

That’s called delusion.

TexasGooner6
TexasGooner6

The club are right to bring in huge talents like Saliba. If he gets loaned back to St. Etienne, I hope we have a call back clause in January. Just in case.

Santori
Santori

Maybe but we may have then spent a huge chunk of change when we need to be investing on 3 critical areas and it won’t help what we need in Defense.

Santori
Santori

Whilst he may surprise, I seriously think we are going backwards.

We are not mitigating risk enough for Unai.

Hopefully this isn’t the only Cback then but we already have Mavropanos and Bielik perculating so he is either very good or we are taking further risk.

What we really need is someone with more experience.

I can see us dropping further down to mid table if we are not careful.

Santori
Santori

Just saying as well this isn’t De Ligt.

This is a player that’s made 16 starts for his club all season. And it isn’t as if St Etienne has been the most frugal defensively either.

Unless he is coming in on a free, we are wasting time and effort.

We need to be getting players seasoned and ready.

Again, we have been lazy in market dealings for a while now and we do ourselves no favours having a complicated buying structure rather then getting someone proven like Campos at Lille.

The defense does not need more young hopefuls. We already have Mavropanos, Bielik.

We need discipline and experience. It doesn’t have to break the bank.

WicklowGunner
WicklowGunner

Ideal world we take him in and loan them Mavropanos in return.

Saneetory
Saneetory

Jeez …. Maybe I’m a bit old for all this now but hey while we have an owner like silent Stan we will not be buying ready made proven quality players! That being the case could we perhaps look at hunger & character as attributes? If the kid is imposing and wants to reach the highest level then get him in provided he has got an “I want to win” attitude & cares about his CLUB not just Mustafi as some “posters” on here seem to indicate. I’d like to see some “bottle” injected as a prerequisite and a hunger to move on individually and to help the club. What has the talent got us? Great when its going well & crap when it’s not! There has to be a mix & yeah we are asking a lot of an 18 year old to come in and solve our woes but give him a chance. Holding seems to have a will do attitude that’s what I want from the squad. We’ve got some really technically gifted lads coming through so the future is bright but to unlock it we’ve got to have personalities with that will to win at all costs attitude ! Love the Arsenal bring it next season & lets get the lads up & running Gooooooners!!!!

GUNNER DAVE
GUNNER DAVE

What is the point of Saliba at 18 when we already have a superb footballing centre back in MEDLER, Holding surrounded by disiplined defenders instead of people like Kolasinac and midfielders like Gundoezy who cannot defend or close down, he is great going forward but simply runs around covering nothing.

Pajanee
Pajanee

Saliba the new pascal cygan

Teddykins
Teddykins

So we have a transfer budget of £40 Mill and we are buying an 18 year old for circa £27 mill and potentially loaning him back. Sounds about right!

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Oh, so we pay 20 mil for a so-called winger to loan him back immidately?

Right…