Arteta all ears as Debuchy raves about Arsenal prospect

Date published: Wednesday 5th February 2020 6:42 - Matthew Briggs

Former Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy says William Saliba is a “great player” and expects him to be a hit with the Gunners next season.

The 18-year-old was signed by Unai Emery last summer, but the young defender never played for the Spaniard as he was immediately loaned back to St Etienne as part of the £27million transfer.

The Gunners were happy for the centre-back to gain more experience and he has done that featuring nine times for the French side and his team-mate Debuchy has been impressed.

Debuchy told ‘The Official Ligue 1 Podcast’: “He’s a great player. I’m so happy for him to play next season for a big club like Arsenal.

“He improves every game and I think he is a great player. He’s strong with good technique. He’s quick.

“I think he has a lot of quality to play at Arsenal.”



Arsenal have struggled defensively this season with 47 goals in all competitions and just five Premier League clean sheets.

It’s an area that Arteta is keen to boost and the January arrivals of Cedric Soares and centre-back Pablo Mari on loan from Flamengo point to exactly what Arteta thinks of his ailing rearguard.

Saliba’s progress has though been hindered by injuries with the player suffering a hamstring injury and a broken toe thus halting his game time this campaign.

He has though featured twice in the Europa League and helped keep clean sheets in the Ligue 1 against Lyon, Bordeaux and Monaco.


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