Former Arsenal defender Lauren has backed his old club to complete the signing of Saint Ettiene’s William Saliba this summer.
According to Metro Sport, the Gunners are among the frontrunners to land the 18-year-old when the market reopens and they are aiming to hold talks with the player’s representatives in the coming days.
Manchester United are also keeping a close eye on the Frenchman, who has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough 2018-19 campaign in Ligue 1, racking up 16 appearances despite his tender age.
Metro Sport states Saliba is currently valued at around €30 million and Lauren has endorsed Arsenal’s proposed transfer swoop, labelling the youngster as “a very good player”.
Club legend Lauren was part of the famous ‘invincibles’ team which won the 2004 Premier League title without losing a single game and he feels Saliba is already an accomplished performer with an exciting future ahead of him.
He told American Gambler: “Yes, he looks a very good player. Strong, tall, can come out of the back with the ball and an international for France.
“He reads the game very well, which is important for a player at the back, you have to anticipate and he looks very good at just 18, so the future is bright!”
It is believed Arsenal boss Unai Emery has identified the need to bring in a new central defender as a priority this summer, after watching his side struggle at the back for much of the season.
The Spanish boss will only be granted £40 million if the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League, which will happen if they lose a Europa League final against Chelsea on Wednesday night – as per Metro Sport.
In the event that they win, Emery will be given a significantly larger war chest but either way, Saliba is an affordable option for the club and he will likely only improve in the coming years.
The teenage star has represented France at all youth levels between U-16 and U-19, with many fans and experts tipping him to reach the very highest level as he matures and hones his craft.
No formal offers have been submitted yet, but Arsenal are well placed to complete a transfer coup ahead of their Premier League rivals and Lauren’s comments suggest Saliba could be a new hero at Emirates Stadium next season.