Arsenal have confirmed the signing of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne on a long-term contract.
The 18-year-old defender has been loaned back to his old side for the 2019/20 season.
Speaking his first words as an Arsenal player, Saliba said: “It’s a massive pleasure to sign for a really, really big English club.
“This is the biggest club in England for me, so it was an easy decision. I didn’t think twice about signing here, so I’m really happy.
“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.
“I spoke to Matteo [Guendouzi]. I even bumped into him at a funfair in Paris, and that’s where I told him that Arsenal wanted to sign me!
“He gently advised me to come here and explained what it was like.
“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.
LATEST ARSENAL NEWS
Head coach Unai Emery added: “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.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Gunners also announced the signing of Dani Ceballos on loan.