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St Etienne confirm departure of William Saliba as team-mates say goodbye to Arsenal defender

St Etienne have confirmed the departure of William Saliba for Arsenal by sending him a good luck message on social media.

The teenage centre-half signed for the Gunners last season but was loaned back to his boyhood club for the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign.

Saliba had hoped to make one final appearance for Les Vert’s in next weekend’s French Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain but a compromise between the two clubs could not be reached.

The Ligue 1 side claimed Arsenal had been guilty of ‘imposing absolutely unacceptable sports and financial conditions’ but the Gunners responded with a strongly worded statement of their own, claiming St Etienne had been unwilling to let Saliba follow a specially designed fitness programme.

Either way, Saliba is understood to have been left hugely frustrated with a decision which has prevented him from competing in what would have been the biggest match of his fledgling career.

William Saliba has left Saint Etienne to finally join Arsenal
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The defender bis farewell to St Etienne with an emotional statement to fans and the club, thanking everyone for their support.

“It is time for me to say goodbye to you with great emotion and sadness, and above all to thank you, the Greens, for all these wonderful years that I spent from my arrival at the training center to the professional world,” he wrote.

“I want to thank all the coaches that I have had, who have made me progress and grow as a player and as a man. I would also like to thank all the club staff who work for our well-being on a daily basis.

“And of course I thank from the bottom of my heart all the wonderful supporters who have always believed in me.

St Etienne have confirmed the departure of William Saliba to Arsenal

St Etienne have confirmed the departure of William Saliba to Arsenal

“Finally, I would like to thank all my teammates with whom I was able to learn and share wonderful…