Arsenal boss Arteta keeping a ‘very close eye’ on William Saliba’s progress at Nice

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 2 min read
Arsenal boss Arteta keeping a ‘very close eye’ on William Saliba’s progress at Nice

Mikel Arteta says he and the club are in constant contact with their loan players including William Saliba in order to ascertain whether the central defender could become a first-team fixture at the Emirates next season.

Saliba has had a tumultuous start to his Arsenal career following his £27 million (€31m) move from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019.

He would return to the club on loan for the 2019/20 campaign which was cut short in Ligue 1 due to the pandemic, resulting in him coming back to London ahead of the 2020/21 season.

However, he was not named in Arteta’s squads for the Premier League and Europa LEague, which led to a January transfer window loan back to France with Nice.

Saliba in 2020/21

Tackles P900.4
Duels Won P903.9
Aerial Duels Won P902.0
Pass Completion89%
Ball Recoveries P907.8
Via FootballCritic

Though the relationship between Arteta and Saliba is slightly fractured due to the squad omission, the Spaniard says he is still monitoring Saliba’s progress with the view to a return to Arsenal next season.

“We are having meetings very often to assess what they are doing,” Arteta said on Wednesday.

“Obviously we are getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they are doing. We were talking yesterday with our loan’s manager Ben Knapper who is in charge of monitoring everything that we are doing.

“We are contact with the players and let’s see. It’s good news that they’re playing and good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes, because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”

Since his summer 2019 move, Saliba is yet to feature in a competitive match for the Gunners in any competition.