Watch: Arsenal’s William Saliba produces brilliant turn on Nice debut


Arsenal loanee William Saliba finally made his first competitive appearance of the season during Nice’s 2-0 defeat against Brest on Wednesday.

Saliba, who joined the Gunners for a reported £27million in the summer of 2019, was immediately loaned back to Ligue 1 outfit Saint Etienne for the 2019-20 season.

He arrived at the Emirates with high expectations but was left out of their Premier League and Europa League squads by Mikel Arteta

The centre-back has now returned to Ligue 1 in search of regular first-team football, joining Nice on loan for the remainder of the season.

“William Saliba is a player with a huge amount of talent and potential,” technical director Edu told the official Arsenal website. “We’re confident he will have a great career with us but we must remember that he is still only 19 years old and has a lot of time ahead of him.

“William experienced a very challenging time last year, with his playing time limited by injury and the early ending of the Ligue Un season due to the pandemic.

“So together with William, we have decided that spending the rest of the season on loan with Nice is the best way for him to develop.”

Saliba was thrust straight into the matchday squad against Brest and received a booking in the 11th minute before Nice conceded two first-half goals. The closest his new side came to score came courtesy of some comedy goalkeeping.

While it was far from a dream debut, Saliba did showcase his skills by producing a brilliant turn on the edge of his own box to escape from an on-rushing Brest attacker.

More Arsenal

Comparing Emiliano Buendia’s 20-21 stats to Arsenal’s current creators

The 17 Arsenal players out on loan in 2020-21 and how they’ve been faring

Can you name Arsenal’s top 30 Premier League appearance makers of all time?

Reminds me of Varane’ – Eight quotes on Arsenal prospect William Saliba