06122021

‘The badge, history, fans… I fell for Arsenal from the start’ – William Saliba opens up on Gunners move


Incoming Arsenal defender William Saliba has today provided an insight into his decision to make the move to the Emirates, confirming that he had ‘no hesitation’ in agreeing to join the Gunners.

Arsenal switch

On the back of months of rampant speculation, highly-regarded French stopper Saliba’s move to north London was finally made official last July.

Just hours after the announcement of Dani Ceballos’ arrival on loan from Real Madrid, Arsenal’s deal for Saliba was confirmed across the club’s social media platforms.

The now-19-year-old was immediately sent back to Saint-Etienne on loan for the season, though, to build further first-team experience.

Saliba will subsequently join up with his new Arsenal teammates this summer.

‘Have a crush’

Arsenal’s fans, meanwhile, have since made their excitement clear regarding the potential impact of their soon-to-be stopper on the club’s backline.

The Gunners’ defence has long stood as an area of weakness, with the capital giants having been crying out for a genuine talent of Saliba’s ilk to lead them into a new era.

William Saliba

Montpellier’s French forward Gaitan Laborde (L) vies with Saint-Etienne’s French defender William Saliba (R) during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Montpellier (MHSC) on May 10, 2019, at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

And, if the latest comments on the part of the Frenchman himself are anything to go by, then the excitement regarding Saliba’s imminent arrival in north London is very much mutual.

Speaking in an interview with L’Equipe earlier today, the Saint-Etienne standout was drawn on a whole host of topics surrounding his fledgling career.

It was a question regarding his decision to join Arsenal, though, which provoked a response no doubt set to come as music to the ears of the Gunners faithful.

Saliba confirmed that he has long held a great affinity for Arsenal, even going as far as to state that he has a ‘crush’ on the club:

‘I fell for Arsenal from the start. A number of French players have been there. Arsenal has not been at the top of its game for the last three, four years. But, like St Étienne, its badge, its history and its fans made me want it. I have a crush on Arsenal. What it gives off speaks to me. I had no hesitation. I am discovering another world.’

Quotes via GFFN

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 37 50 96
2 Manchester City FC 37 62 78
3 Manchester United FC 37 28 63
4 Chelsea FC 37 13 63
5 Leicester City FC 37 28 62
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 37 13 59
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 37 14 58
8 Sheffield United FC 37 2 54
9 Burnley FC 37 -6 54
10 Arsenal FC 37 7 53
11 Everton FC 37 -10 49
12 Southampton FC 37 -11 49
13 Newcastle United FC 37 -18 44
14 Crystal Palace FC 37 -19 42
15 West Ham United FC 37 -13 38
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 37 -16 38
17 Aston Villa FC 37 -26 34
18 Watford FC 37 -27 34
19 AFC Bournemouth 37 -27 31
20 Norwich City FC 37 -44 21
Player Team Goals
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 23
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 21
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 20
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 19
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 17
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 17
Martial, Anthony Manchester United FC 17
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 17
Aguero, Sergio Manchester City FC 16
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 15
Jesus, Gabriel Manchester City FC 13
Richarlison Everton FC 13
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City FC 11
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 10



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