Arsenal allay fears of permanent William Saliba departure by confirming loan move to Nice after Gunners defender admitted feeling ‘locked up’ January 4, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer

Arsenal defender William Saliba has joined Nice on loan until the end of the season, the Gunners have confirmed.

The 19-year-old has not yet played a competitive match for Arsenal despite signing for the club from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019.

Saliba was vocal on Instagram about his lack of playing time this season

His loan spell back at the French club last season was disrupted by the coronavirus crisis, meaning he did not develop as Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was hoping.

The club were unable to find another loan solution during the summer and Saliba has admitted to feeling ‘locked up’ as he was overlooked by Arteta for the first half of the Premier League season.

There were rumours of a permanent departure this month, which would’ve angered many Arsenal fans given Saliba’s potential, but those fears have been allayed by a confirmed loan move to Nice.

Saliba has been playing for Arsenal’s youth team

Getty Images – Getty

Saliba has been playing for Arsenal’s youth team

Arsenal’s technical director Edu said: “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.

“William experienced a very challenging time last year, with his playing time limited by injury and the early ending of the Ligue 1 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.

“We will be keeping in close contact with William during his time with Nice and look forward to seeing him make good progress until the end of the season.”

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