WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Saliba tipped to be a star at Arsenal

Teenager has been on loan at Saint Etienne since joining the Gunners in a £27million deal last summer

03 April, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

WILLIAM Saliba is being tipped to be a big hit when he finally arrives at Arsenal in a couple of months.

The 19-year-old joined the Gunners last summer for £27million from boyhood club Saint Etienne, but was immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit for the season.

With his switch to north London approaching, his former youth coach, Fabio Frasconi, has spoken of his “great pride” at seeing Saliba’s progress.

Frasconi, who coached the centre-back at Under-12s and Under-13s level, also compared Saliba to Real Madrid star Raphael Varane.

“As a kid, he was already above the lot, technically clean, comfortable with the ball,” Frasconi told the Saint-Etienne website.

“I had positioned him at the centre-forward position. Evolving back then in central defence would not have allowed him, in my opinion, to progress.

“William will go far, very far. I feel enormous pride when I see him playing at this level, with this composure, this maturity, this accuracy, this sense of anticipation and this application.”

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