William Saliba Saint-Etienne 2019-20Getty Images

‘Saliba will be a £27m star for Arsenal’ – Ex-Gunners defender Debuchy backing teenager for the top

William Saliba is being backed to be “a great player” for Arsenal, with Mathieu Debuchy confident that the Gunners will find value in a £27 million ($35m) transfer.

A big-money deal for the 18-year-old defender is set to deliver a future star to Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2020.

The Gunners reached an agreement for Saliba prior to the current campaign, but agreed to let him spend the season on loan at Saint-Etienne.

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The youngster has continued to shine in French football, with his stock rising as he closes on a move to north London.

Debuchy knows all about the pressures that a fellow countryman and current team-mate will face in English football, having spent time on the books at Arsenal and Newcastle.

He is confident that Saliba will settle quickly and prove to a new audience just how good he can become.

Debuchy told The Official Ligue 1 Podcast: “He's a great player. I'm so happy for him to play next season for a big club like Arsenal.

“He improves every game and I think he is a great player. He's strong with good technique. He's quick, too.

“I think he has a lot of quality to play at Arsenal.”

William Saliba Saint-Etienne Arsenal TottenhamGetty/Goal

Another man currently turning out alongside Saliba in Ligue 1 who has previously spent time in the Premier League is Yohan Cabaye.

The ex-Newcastle and Crystal Palace midfielder also expects the exciting talent to take his game to even greater heights when bolstering the ranks at Arsenal.

Cabaye said of Saliba: “He's like a big man - he's only 18 but he's like a big man. The way he plays, him and Wesley Fofana are both fantastic.

“The future looks bright for them and I hope they continue in the same way.

“He's strong and hopefully he will adapt himself really quickly. In a club like Arsenal with French players I think he can do really well.”

Saliba only made his senior debut for Saint-Etienne back in September 2018.

He has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since then, with Arsenal having fended off rival interest from north London neighbours Tottenham to secure the signature of one of the hottest prospects in European football.