Arsenal

Done deal: Arteta convinced 21-year-old French star to sign five-year Arsenal contract

According to Freddie Paxton, William Saliba has agreed a new deal to extend his Arsenal contract.

Paxton reported on Twitter:

“It is my understanding that William Saliba has already agreed a new deal to extend his #AFC contract after positive talks before the US tour.”

“Arsenal pleased with his development and see him as an important part of the future”

“No word on when an official announcement is expected.”

This news will come as a very pleasant surprise for Arsenal fans.

It had not been clear if Saliba would want to stay with the Gunners, following three successive loans since his initial move to Arsenal in 2019.

The young French defender was signed under previous manager Unai Emery and relations between Saliba and Mikel Arteta appeared to be frosty.

However, both have recently spoken of their desire for the centre-back to feature for Arsenal next season.

The 21-year-old has developed significantly in the three years since he was signed, and is now a full France international.

He enjoyed a very productive season for Marseille, starting 35 matches in Ligue 1 and leading the side to a second place finish.

He was voted Ligue 1 young player of the year at the end of the season.

Marseille were understandably desperate to sign the centre-back permanently but those hopes seem to have died down.

Saliba has played in two games for Arsenal in pre-season so far, starting against Everton and coming off the bench against Orlando City.

In both games, he impressed massively.

Partnering Gabriel, he provided an incredibly calm head and has demonstrated the strength and intelligence that make him such an exciting prospect.

While Gabriel and Ben White were great at centre-back for Arsenal last season, White’s ability to play right-back could allow all three players to line-up together.

We will await further confirmation from Arsenal but if they have managed to sign Saliba to a new contract, it is undoubtedly a massive victory for the club.

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