football

Arsenal name William Saliba in 49-man Unai Emery squad – reason why revealed


Arsenal have put down summer transfer William Saliba to their Premier League squad despite returning him on loan to Saint-Etienne in order to turn him into a home-grown player.

The Gunners splashed £27million for the promising young defender but sent him back to the Ligue 1 outfit even though they rate him very highly.

The north London club apparently have big plans for the centre-back as he was included in the list of the 49-man squad for the first half of the season even though he currently doesn’t play for them.

According to Saved By The Bellerín podcast co-host Dean, Head of Football Raul Sanllehi and the rest of the board made that decision in order to turn Saliba into a home-grown player.

A home-grown player is a footballer who has been registered with any club affiliated to the FA or the Football Association of Wales irrespective of age or nationality for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before his 21st birthday or the end of the season during which he turns 21.

This way the 18-year-old Frenchman will be able to obtain this status by the 2021-2022 season if he keeps getting registered throughout the next two campaigns.

Dean tweeted: “Arsenal have named William Saliba in their 49 man squad for the season despite him being loaned back to ASSE.

“This is a very smart move by Sanllehí & Co which will basically mean Saliba will become a HG player should he continue to be registered for the next two seasons.”

Arsenal have also included Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and David Luiz, all of whom joined over the summer as well.

Saliba was called up by Saint-Etienne’s senior squad last year and has since made 19 appearances for the club.

The French side has played four league matches so far this season and count one win and two losses.

Saliba has yet to appear for Ghislain Printant’s side as he is currently dealing with a hamstring injury.

Arsenal have been dealing with defensive woes ever since last season and have tried to strengthen by signing Luiz and Tierney from Chelsea and Celtic respectively.

The Gunners’ next Premier League match takes place on September 15 after the international break against Watford at Vicarage Road.





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