OFFICIAL: William Saliba leaves Arsenal for Nice loan move
William Saliba has endured a torrid time since moving to Arsenal, and he has been loaned back to Nice in his native France for the remainder of the season.
The 19-year-old was captured in a £27million move at the beginning of last season but stayed at Saint-Etienne on loan before linking up with the Gunners in the summer.
Early signs suggested he would go straight into the starting line-up to try to steady a much-maligned Arsenal defence, but the arrival of Gabriel and Arteta’s preference for Rob Holding has left Saliba very much an outcast and desperate to seal a move for first-team football.
The Frenchman didn’t even make the 25-man Europa League squad and has only made the bench once all season, in the League Cup against Leicester City.
The loan move is believed to be without a permanent purchase option with Arsenal still seeing the player’s future at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal sporting director said as much when the deal was confirmed, stating: “William Saliba is a player with a huge amount of talent and potential. 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.
“Together with William, we’ve decided that spending the rest of the season on loan with Nice is the best way for him to develop. We’ll be keeping in close contact with William during his time with Nice & look forward to seeing him make good progress until end of the season.”
The teenager will be hoping to hit the ground running at Nice and prove his worth to Arteta ahead of returning next summer and looking to force his way into the team.