Saliba loan is 6 months
William Saliba has had a difficult time at Arsenal since arriving from St Etienne. The French youth international was unused by Mikel Arteta upon returning from his loan and has now since been sent on loan to Nice the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
— OGC Nice (@ogcnice) January 4, 2021
French media reported that the loan could see an extension to next season whereby the French defender would remain at the club for an amount of time equal to that of 18 months. Arsenal will be losing 3 right sided centre backs in the summer, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz, it is therefore strange that Arsenal would sanction his absence for such a length of time.
L’Équipe tomorrow report that there is a serious possibility that William Saliba’s loan will be extended to run through to June 2022 with OGC Nice from Arsenal – it is 6 months initially, but “susceptible” to running for 18 months if all goes well.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 4, 2021
However, football.london’s Chris Wheatley reported that this is not the case and therefore Saliba will return to Arsenal in the summer at the conclusion of the current season.
❌ This report has been denied by people close to the player this morning. Saliba set to return to Arsenal once his loan spell ends. https://t.co/o80Prez8Di
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) January 5, 2021
Edu has faith in Saliba
The future of the young Frenchman has been a topic of great discussion and mystery ever since returning to London in the summer of 2020. With no senior appearance yet on his Arsenal career after arriving for a significant fee, it was completely rational to consider whether he had not convinced coach Mikel Arteta of his qualities.
However Arsenal’s technical director Edu has come out to speak of the clubs faith in the young French Defender and the hope they have in his future career with the club.
“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,” said Edu.
“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.”
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 08: William Saliba of Arsenal U21 walks off from pitch after receiving red card during the EFL Trophy match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 8, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
It is reported that Arsenal are still came to sign a right-sided centre-back considering the amount of players they will be losing in the summer, but this seemingly has not deterred the club from hoping that Saliba could still be one of their key figures of the future.
Arsenal have signed to other centre backs in the last 12-months including Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille. These are both left footed and left sided centre backs and should therefore not impact Saliba’s possible inclusion at the club although he can play on either side of a defensive back 3 or 4.