Unai Emery told Arsenal should sign 18-year-old Ligue 1 defender

Former Arsenal defender Lauren says reported Gunners target William Saliba has a 'bright future'

Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Lauren has backed Arsenal’s pursuit of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba.

The Gunners have been linked with a potential swoop to sign the teenage centre-half over the past couple of months following his excellent form in Ligue 1.

Arsenal are expected to face competition from their top-six rivals Manchester United, who are also thought to be keeping tabs on the 18-year-old.

Saliba made 19 appearances in all competitions as Saint-Etienne managed to finish in fourth spot in the Ligue 1 table.

Unai Emery is bound to be linked with a host of centre-halves in the summer transfer window as the Gunners boss looks to add some youth to his squad.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopolous have a combined age of 98, underlining the aging legs in the Arsenal backline.

And former Arsenal full-back Lauren believes Saliba would be an excellent addition to the Gunners team.

“He looks a very good player,” Lauren told the American Gambler. “Strong, tall, can come out of the back with the ball and an international for France.

“He reads the game very well, which is important for a player at the back, you have to anticipate and he looks very good at just 18, so the future is bright!

Saliba was coached by Kylian Mbappe’s father before the centre-half completed a move to prestigious French club Saint-Etienne in 2016.

The teenager signed his first professional contract with Saint-Etienne in May 2017 to secure his future at the Ligue 1 club.

Saliba made his Saint-Etienne debut in a 3-2 victory over Toulouse in September 2018.

The France Under-19 international went on to make a further 18 appearances in all competitions this season.

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