England’s premier football club Arsenal FC have confirmed signing French defender William Saliba on Friday. The player will be joining the team from Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne. As part of the deal between the player and club, Saliba will be returning to the Ligue 1 side next season on loan before heading to Arsenal in 2020.
“We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future. He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group,” head coach of Arsenal Unai Emery said in an official statement.
The 18-year-old Saliba signed his first contract at the age of 17. He made his professional debut for Saint-Etienne in 2018. The player was recently named in France’s under 20-squad.
“Well, first of all, it’s a massive pleasure to sign for a really, really big English club. This is the biggest club in England for me, so it was an easy decision. I didn’t think twice about signing here, so I’m really happy,” Saliba said in an official statement.
Earlier, Arsenal also signed Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan deal. Arsenal had finished the Premier League 2018/19 season at the fifth position with 70 points from 38 matches.
The team will take on Newcastle United in their first match of the Premier League 2019/ 20 season on August 8.