The reason why William Saliba opted to join Arsenal over Manchester United appears to have been brought to light.
Saliba is expected to play a key role for Mikel Arteta’s side this year in his first season with the club.
Arsenal signed Saliba last summer, but opted to loan him back to Saint-Etienne for a year in order to continue his development.
The youngster shone once again in Ligue 1, and Arteta will now hope that he can fix the gaping holes in his current backline.
However, it seems that Saliba could have joined rival side United instead of the Gunners.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who as part of a large feature piece on the player claim that United made an approach for the Frenchman in January 2019.
It’s thought that Saliba was interested in hearing what the Red Devils had to offer.
But as soon as Arsenal, whose side has been built on French talent for years, came in for him, his mind was made up.
It is suggested that the Gunners had a long-term interest in the 19-year-old, who was born in Bondy and started his youth career there before moving to Saint-Etienne.
France youth coach Jean-Luc Vannuchi has heaped the highest praise on Saliba, describing him and as a mix of Real Madrid’s Rafael Varane and Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk.
"He is a mix of the two [Varane and Van Dijk's] styles," Vannuchi told The Telegraph. "With Varane because of his speed and power, and with Van Dijk it is the interceptions, the positioning on the pitch.
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"When he took the ball and ran into midfield, no one could stop him. He was like a monster compared to the others. When he played with St-Etienne it looked normal for him, even though he was so young.
“My first impression was that this was the biggest man of his generation. The difference between him and the other players was massive.”
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