For the remainder of the season, William Saliba will join Nice on loan. Arsenal hopes that it will be possible for the £ 27 million player to further his career.
Nice, currently 12th in Ligue 1, will cover the wage expenses of the central defender and won’t have to pay a loan fee. Currently, a permanent transfer is not on the cards as Arsenal remain convinced that the 19-year-old has a future in North London.
Saliba, who was only allowed to play in the U23s after not being called up to Mikel Arteta’s squad for the Premier League or Europa League, had a disappointing half-season.
Despite a host of stakeholders, Arsenal had failed to secure him a loan deal in September, and now expect him to grow to challenge for next season’s first-team spot.
There were high expectations that after returning from the 2019-20 season on loan at Saint-Etienne, from where he joined Arsenal in July 2019, Saliba will make a swift impact.
In reality, he was out with injury most of the time and was set back more by a family mourning as he tried to adapt to life at Arsenal.
Another temporary move to Ligue 1 is seen as the right move for a player who last month had a “bright future,” for Arsenal technical director Edu, especially because Arsenal is over-supplied with central defenders.
Arteta recently praised the “massive improvement” of Saliba and said in October that, at a time when the club needs fit defenders, he felt “really bad” about not being used in the first team.
After Sead Kolasinac, who is going to Schalke 04, Saliba is the second player to leave Arsenal on loan in the new transfer window. More departures are predicted as Arteta tries to reduce the squad’s scale, the size of which he identifies as “unsustainable.”