Arsenal will give William Saliba a chance to stake a claim in the Arsenal team according to Chris Wheatley on Football.London and the player is doing all he can to impress before he returns.
Many were surprised to see William Saliba sidelined by Mikel Arteta when he arrived. Here was a young player who was the talk of his country and we had all been led to believe was a phenomenal player already, despite his young age, but he couldn’t get a chance.
Eventually, Saliba got another loan move away and has impressed consistently since signing for Nice in January.
With David Luiz’s contract up in the summer and Arsenal wanting the Brazilian, at most, to take on a reduced playing role, Wheatley reports that “Mikel Arteta will take a closer look at William Saliba when the first team squad return for pre-season in the summer.”
Saliba is certainly doing all he can to convince Arteta he should be at Arsenal next season. He even won OGC Nice’s Man of the Match award for his most recent performance against Stade de Reims at the weekend.
OGC Nice announced their Man of the Match award for their weekend fixture against Stade de Reims, with William Saliba earning 44% of the vote to finish ahead of Jean-Clair Todibo (32%) and Alexis Claude-Maurice (12%).
The Nice website wrote that Saliba put in a solid display “full of authority”. They added that he was always well positioned and there was no one better than him at distributing the ball on the day.
Not only did Saliba complete 99% of his 89 passes, but he also completed all of his attempted long balls and even created two chances to score. His seven ball recoveries and three defensive clearances ensured a clean sheet for his side.
It’s not Saliba’s first Man of the Match award, and he even won their Player of the Month award in February. But it’s particularly encouraging that Saliba has returned so impressively after contracting Covid-19 last month.
Some players have taken a bit longer to get back into the swing of things, but the Arsenal loanee already seems to be at his level again.
L’Equipe have regularly scored Saliba as one of Nice’s top performers since joining, and his loan has been a pretty clear success story so far. Hopefully, it will lead to integration with Arsenal next season.