Tottenham fans have known for a long time that business this summer was inevitable. Tanguy Ndombele and Jack Clarke signing is the beginning, and it now looks like a few more may follow, with St. Etienne’s William Saliba being one of those.
The French defender is just 18-years-old and has been linked very closely with Arsenal over the course of the summer transfer window, with French journalist Manu Lonjon claiming at one point on Twitter that the deal was done.
That is certainly not the case, though, and then three days after that tweet, Lonjon then responded to an Arsenal fan claiming that Tottenham had ‘arrived and offered the guaranteed 30m’. Whilst nothing is yet complete, St. Etienne’s president Roland Romeyer has recently come out with some choice words.
The ASSE man has claimed that ‘there will probably be something that will happen.’ Before following by up saying that ‘William Saliba is contacted by many clubs. We hope the club and William are happy with what will happen in these days to come.’ comments as per But Football Club.
Whether or not that means Saliba is on his way to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Emirates Stadium or elsewhere is anyone’s guess, but as Spurs certainly hold a firm interest, Mauricio Pochettino could be set to get his man in the next few days.
If that’s the case, it’s certainly good news. The 18-year-old defender may be new on the senior footballing scene, but he’s shown that he can hold his own, featuring 19 times for St. Etienne in French domestic competition at both centre-back and right-back, Transfermarkt.
Should Saliba arrive in North London, and the white half of North London for that matter, then not only will it be a one-up over the Lilywhites’ local rivals, but he would provide the perfect replacement for Toby Alderweireld, who could be set to leave the club for Roma in the coming weeks.
With Alderweireld edging closer to the exit door, Mauricio Pochettino is presented with a defensive conundrum. The club’s three centre-halves would be Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth, and with Pochettino’s tactical flexibility to use a three-at-the-back, he’ll need more than three central defenders.
Should Saliba sign, he’d become that 4th centre-back and at the age of just 18-years-old, he has plenty of time to develop alongside both Foyth (21) and Sanchez (23) into what looks like being the Lilywhites’ backline for years to come, making this one a win-win by pipping Arsenal to a signing and building for the future.