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Why William Saliba chose to sign for Arsenal instead of Tottenham

Why William Saliba chose to sign for Arsenal instead of Tottenham
William Saliba is poised to sign for Arsenal despite late interest from Tottenham (Picture: Getty)

William Saliba is poised to sign for Arsenal, despite Tottenham making a late effort to hijack the deal.

Arsenal have been attempting to find a suitable resolution with Saint-Etienne all summer long, but had struggled to reach a compromise with the French club.

Spurs made a move for the teenage centre-half over the weekend, but the player has reportedly decided his long-term future lies in the red half of north London.

Arsenal will now pay an initial €33m (£29.8m) fee plus a further €7m (£6.3m) in add-ons and will loan Saliba back to Saint-Etienne next season with the player keen to continue his development in Ligue 1.

The 18-year-old, according to ESPN, is enticed by the Arsenal project which will focus on promoting a number of the club’s exciting academy graduates over the course of the next few years.

Freddie Ljungberg was promoted to the senior coaching set-up earlier this summer after impressing in charge of the Under-23s last season.

Unai Emery praised the Swede’s early contribution following last night’s win over Bayern Munich and also outlined his intention for the crop of young players who have already impressed on the tour of America, including the likes of Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah.

He said: ‘For them it’s important also in each match here with us and each training to give us his performance and above all his energy. We have the responsibility with the young players to give them chances and we want also to use different young players to help us.

Eddie Nketiah scored Arsenal’s winning goal against Bayern Munich (Picture: Getty)
Robbie Burton impressed against Bayern Munich as a second half substitute (Picture: Getty)

‘They are going to be with us in the pre-season and some players are also going to be with us in the season. Each match, each minute they can show their performance like today. It’s important because against the big players, for example Nketiah against Sule, is to show how we can respond with different situations and different situations and I thought today was very positive.

‘But it depends on their performance when we are playing matches like today. Against Colorado Rapids on Monday we played a lot of young players. We need them for the moment but also in the future. Our responsibility at this club for the history, for the present and for the future is to have young players with the possibilities to take chances.

‘After, if they deserve it they can be and can take minutes like today. I am very positive with them, I am very happy with their work every day in the training sessions and also today in the match. We are going to play next Saturday against Fiorentina also in another match and we are going to use young players. It’s another chance for them to show us how they can respond, but today, for example, is very positive.’

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