Arsenal could miss out on signing Saint-Etienne’s William Saliba as Tottenham enter the race with a late bid, according to Mohamed Bouhafsi.
Info @RMCsport : Coup de théâtre dans le dossier #Saliba ! #Tottenham a transmis une offre dépassant les 30M€ hors bonus pour Saliba. Une offre dépassant les attentes de #ASSE. Réunion demain pour finaliser l’operation alors que #Arsenal avait trouvé un accord global.
— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 12, 2019
Arsenal are already believed to have reached a ‘global agreement’ for the transfer of the 18-year-old and were thought to be close to securing a deal for him.
BBC Sport are reporting a deal of the same value was on the table and, as such, would allow Saliba to remain with Saint-Etienne on loan for the upcoming campaign, but it seems Tottenham are prepared to try and hijack a deal for him.
If Spurs were to beat Arsenal to the punch regarding Saliba, it would have to be considered a blow to Unai Emery and the Gunners this summer.
Although it appears he would be remaining at Saint-Etienne if he was snapped up by the Emirates Stadium outfit, there would have to be a case that the 18-year-old would be a defender for the long-term future and one that could help them in defence moving forward.
The defence has been a real issue for Arsenal over the years (having conceded 51 goals in the Premier League last season) and their problems could only mount further with the news that Laurent Koscielny wants to leave this summer (BBC Sport).
When looking at the statistics compiled by WhoScored, he averaged 2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions in his 16 Ligue 1 matches. Those figures are hugely encouraging, however, they are not that much better than what Shkodran Mustafi averaged in certain areas – an individual who came in for plenty of criticism last season, in which Emery has lept to his defence.
Saliba may have equalled Mustafi’s total in terms of tackles, however, he had a worse average in terms of interceptions (1.9) and fewer clearances (2.7 to 5.2).
Being second best to Tottenham is never best when it comes down to Arsenal, especially when they could miss out on an emerging talent.
Arsenal fans, how big of a blow will it be if Tottenham beat you in the race to sign Saliba this summer? Let us know your thoughts below by sharing them in the comments section!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!