Saliba wins Nice award and speaks out about Arteta

Written by Ashley Brundle

February 9, 2021


Arsenal have high hopes for William Saliba, but his Gunners career hasn’t exactly hit any soaring heights yet despite the high fee on his head.

The Gunners paid £27million to sign Saliba from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019, but sent him back to the Ligue 1 club last season.

On his return to Arsenal Mikel Arteta told Saliba almost straight away that he wasn’t ready for first team action.

Saliba was subsequently sent out on loan again, this time joining Nice until the end of the season in order to get that transitional period under his belt. Something the gaffer has mentioned previously.

Saliba has been a regular so far, and Arsenal will be very encouraged by the latest news regarding the 19-year-old’s performances.

Various coaches and players in the game have had some positive feedback for the young French defender including his old coach at under 12 – under 13.

Fabio Frasconi

“William Saliba will go far, very far. He reminds me of Raphaël Varane,” said the coach that saw him develop at Under-12 and Under-13 level.

“As a kid, he was already above the rest, technically clean, comfortable with the ball. I have never seen a kid have such a desire to succeed.”

Being likened to Raphaël Varane will bring music to the Arsenal fans ears and something we all look forward to seeing next season. Something Nice seem to be getting from him this season already given his latest accolade.

Saliba on Arteta

In a recent interview, Saliba was asked about his future at Arsenal and how it was for him in the early days of this season.

“He [Arteta] judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready.

“I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that. When I initially came to Arsenal the league looked very good so I showed up to training and wanted to train on my own to show the coach I was ready.

“I am happy now, I want to play for Nice. The idea when you’re part of a team is a better feeling for me.”

Clearly, he wasn’t very happy with the dealing of his situation.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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