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Arsenal chief explains why William Saliba has been sent back on loan

Unai EmeryUnai Emery

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Arsenal chief Raul Sanllehi says that William Saliba has been sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne to gain some more regular first team experience before being exposed to the rigours of the Premier League.

Arsenal confirmed the signing of the 18-year-old defender last week after weeks of speculation linking him with a move to The Emirates.

Saliba will be sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne for next season in order to continue his development before linking up with Unai Emery’s squad next summer.

There have been some suggestions that Arsenal could have done with another defender in their ranks for the forthcoming season.

But Gunners chief Sanllehi says that the decision to send Saliba back to France for another season is in the player’s interests.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Sanllehi said: “Saliba was different, part of the deal is for him to be on loan for one year with his club.

“We are pleased about that because the level of intensity and the level of demand in the Premier League is very strong.

“He’s probably too young for that yet, as I said, we need to protect our young talent.

“We think it will be good for him to be in a less demanding league to continue his formative period, so we’ll have a top defender for a decade.

“He saw for his career path, the perfect solution for him.”

Arsenal also confirmed the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid last week as they continued to add to their squad.

Emery is aiming to guide his team towards a top-four finish for next season after they finished fifth in the table and without a trophy last term.

Arsenal have not lifted the Premier League trophy since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.

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