Arsenal are apparently edging closer to a deal for Saint Etienne centre-back William Saliba but it sounds as though the 18-year-old could spend next season on loan at his current club.
On the lookout for defensive recruits, we’ve been linked with a £25 million move for the France under-20 international after he impressed during his debut year in Ligue 1.
Ideally, if you’re about to drop a significant chunk of a conservative transfer budget on a player, you’d hope he could be called upon immediately, but according to French football expert Julien Laurens, it appears we’re open to him continuing his development in familiar surroundings.
Tanguy Ndombélé is getting closer to Tottenham. William Saliba is getting closer to Arsenal (but should stay a season on loan at St Etienne). Both deals could be done soon. Two very good signings and once more Premier League clubs doing their business in Ligue 1.
— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) June 26, 2019
For Saliba’s long-term development, this all sounds very reasonable. Of course, that doesn’t hide the fact we’re in desperate need of defenders for the season starting in August. In the least two years, we’ve conceded 102 goals in the Premier League more than twice as many as successive champions Manchester City.
With Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal entering the final year of their contracts, Rob Holding working his way back from injury, Dinos Mavropanos looking nice on Instagram but not on the pitch, questions marks over the future of Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik and Shkodran being Mustafi, we need stronger foundations at the back.
We’re rumoured to have interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou, Torino’s Armando Izzo and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk but the links seem flimsy at best. At left-back we seem to have made Celtic’s Kieran Tierney a primary target.
Unai and Raul are going to have to get imaginative and quick.