New Arsenal signing explains why he snubbed Tottenham

William Saliba reveals that the history of Arsenal helped to convince him to sign for the Gunners

Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

William Saliba has revealed that it was the history of the club that convinced him to sign for Arsenal over rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The Gunners confirmed the signing of the 18-year-old defender on Thursday after much speculation linking him with a move to The Emirates.

The defender will spend next season on loan back at Saint-Etienne before linking up with his new team-mates ahead of next season.

Saliba was touted as a target for Tottenham Hotspur in the final few days before his move to The Emirates was confirmed last week.

And Saliba has now spoken about why he chose to move to The Emirates ahead of White Hart Lane this summer.

Asked why he chose Arsenal over Tottenham, Saliba told the club’s website: “Well, the history, the badge… since I was little, I’ve been watching Arsenal play in the Champions League and so on, and there are a lot of French players who have come through here.

“So that really helped me to make my mind up.”

Saliba also went on to explain why he was keen to spend the next season on loan to Saint-Etienne before officially joining Arsenal next summer.

He continued: “It [the loan move back] was important first of all because I wanted to prove myself for another year at Saint-Etienne, before I come to try and establish myself here at Arsenal.

“This is a big club, and when you come here, you need to be ready. So I’m going to try and have a great season with the club that developed me in order to be ready for Arsenal.”

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season and without a trophy.

The Gunners also on Thursday confirmed the signing of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal.

Earlier this summer, Arsenal secured the signing of Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli.

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