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Ex-Arsenal striker questions signing of 18-year-old

Unai EmeryUnai Emery

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Jeremie Aliadiere has admitted that he’s confused by Arsenal’s signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba.

The Gunners confirmed the arrival of Saliba on Thursday after weeks of speculation linking them with a move to bring the young defender to The Emirates.

As part of the deal, the Gunners are to loan Saliba back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season despite Arsenal’s defensive issues.

The north London side conceded more goals than Manchester City and Liverpool FC combined in the Premier League last term.

Experienced France international Laurent Koscielny has also asked to leave the club to return to Ligue 1.

Now, former Arsenal striker Aliadere raised questions about Unai Emery’s decision to sign Saliba and then loan him back to the French club.

“Defensively is where Arsenal need to strengthen the most and they’re pretty close to signing the French Under 20 international Saliba,” Aliadiere told 888sport before the deal was confirmed on Thursday.

“But I have heard they’re going to sign him then loan him back to France for a season so I’m a bit surprised they are spending almost £30m on a defender and giving him back straight away. I don’t understand that type of business.

“I’m not sure if right now we can afford to buy a player for the future, we need players to come in and improve the team right now because that’s where we struggled last year.”

Arsenal have been linked with a host of top names in the summer transfer window so far.

The north London side have recruited Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli in a £1.6m deal from South American club Ituano.

On Thursday, they also confirmed the signing of Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan real from Real Madrid.

The Gunners finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season behind Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal lost 4-1 to bitter rivals Chelsea FC in the Europa League final in Baku to end the season without a trophy.

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