Done Deal: Arsenal defender completes loan move to Nice

By | January 8, 2021

Arsenal have announced that it has loaned the French central defender William Saliba to Nice.

He will join the French club through the end of the campaign as the 19-year-old defender returns to his homeland in search of first-team football.

The deal doesn’t include an option to buy, as William will return back to the Emirates at the end of the current season.

The teenager, who has featured for his country up to the U-20 level, originally joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth £27 million, spending the 2019-20 term on loan with his former club.

During that season he featured in 17 games, having played a total of 36 matches before making the move to England.

Having moved to Arsenal this term, Saliba has been unable to break into the club’s first team, with the club opting not to register him for either Europa League or Premier League football this term.

“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 chief 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.”

Arsenal currently sit 11th in the division, having won three consecutive games to relieve pressure caused by an eye-catching seven-match winless run through the two months prior.

They are set to play host to Newcastle United on Saturday in the FA Cup third round before then returning to top-flight play against Crystal Palace on January 14.