first_imgWilliam Saliba will join Arsenal next season (Picture: Getty)Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel has criticised the club’s decision to sell William Saliba to Arsenal in the summer, labelling the move as ‘short-term’ and ‘reactionary’.Arsenal had pursued a move for Saliba throughout the summer and eventually reached a deal for the 18-year-old in July, paying £27m for him before sending him back to Saint-Etienne on loan for the season.Although Saliba has only featured six times for Les Verts this season, former Leicester City boss Puel, who took charge of Saint-Etienne last month, already believes he is the club’s best player despite his age. Advertisement Saliba trained with Arsenal during the international break in September (Picture: Getty)Speaking to L’Equipe, Puel said: ‘It’s done, adopted and I’ve got nothing to say because it helped perform. Saint-Etienne have held their rank these past few years. Finishing fourth is a great result. Work was done in the short-term.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Is this model viable? I don’t think it can make the club a success. Rather than buying a ready-made player, I’d rather we buy him to develop him and help him grow.‘It’s hard to accept that we sell our best player, a young kid, to help fill the coffers. When you have to sell your gems to round up the budget and then do short term deals to fill in the gaps, you’re being reactionary.’Saliba made his breakthrough last season, featuring 16 times for Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 but he had a delayed start to the current campaign as a hamstring injury saw him miss their first seven matches.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalDuring his time on the sidelines, Saliba linked up with Arsenal in London in September and although the club believes he has a few areas of his game to work upon, they think he can challenge for a first-team place next season.Speaking about Arsenal’s signing of Saliba in July, Unai Emery said: ‘We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future.‘He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Claude Puel hits out at Saint-Etienne’s decision to sell ‘best player’ William Saliba to Arsenal Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 1 Nov 2019 5:27 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link6kShares Advertisementlast_img

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