Highly-rated French defender William Saliba has joined Arsenal from Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on a long-term contract.
The much sought after centre half will spend a season back on loan at Saint-Etienne before joining the Arsenal squad next summer.
Head coach Unai Emery said: “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.”
William signed his first contract at the age of 17. He made his professional debut with Saint-Etienne in a 3–2 Ligue 1 win over Toulouse on September 25, 2018. His performances earned him a further 13 starts in Ligue 1 last season.
The 18-year-old is also a French youth international, having recently been called up to the his country’s under-20 squad.
The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.