Arsenal are set to sign Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba for £26.5m, according to reports in the English media.
The 18-year-old will, though, be sent back on loan for next season. It is believed the Gunners will keep most of their transfer budget intact as most of the fee won’t be paid upfront.
Some fans on Twitter think Arsenal have done well to secure such an exciting young talent:
Considering we aren’t paying anything now it’s good business
— Souvik Ray (@SouvikLT11) 9 July 2019
Great signing if it weren’t including the loan back.
— Det Hage (@TobiasJHagemann) 9 July 2019
Here we Go 💪🏻🔴⚪️
— Invincibles49 (Kroenke Out) (@BadboysLacaAuba) 9 July 2019
New Thuram. Big time era-defining signing from Bondy, under Wilfred Mbappe who is polishing diamonds down there. Happy to loan for full year first team experience and then straight into starting 11 next to Holding. Sanllehi for the win.
— Brett Lovett (@brettalovett) 9 July 2019
I can see the logics behind this as he can Develop at Etienne whist we get back into the champs with holding chamber sokraris and mustafi unfortunately we have a lot of defenders and we could offload them next season
— Tyrese W (@TyreseW6) 9 July 2019
However, others don’t understand why the club have agreed to loan the player back to Saint-Etienne:
YESSS BUT ALSO NOOOO BECAUSE WE NEED HIM NOW
— ₉ ₁₄ (@Auba_Laca8) 9 July 2019
Why dont we keep this lad and send Mustafi on loan to St Ettienne?? This makes more sense.
— Leslie cutter (@lescutter) 9 July 2019
this is an absolute joke. we need defensive reinforcements for the coming season
— ßąvaģë. (@Kev_bankrob) 9 July 2019
He better be worth it
— Samir (@samcity45) 9 July 2019
doesnt make sense because we need defenders Now
— Ringo (@IAm_Spanerr) 9 July 2019
It’s a similar case to when Kurt Zouma signed for Chelsea from Saint-Etienne in 2014. The French club like to finance their summer purchases by selling players, but then keep them on loan until they can find suitable replacements.
It’s certainly a strange arrangement, and Gunners supporters will be hoping Saliba lives up to the hype when he finally joins up with the Arsenal squad next year.