William Saliba shows Arsenal what he’s capable of with man of the match display

William Saliba has shown Arsenal exactly what he’s capable of with the young defender named man of the match in just his second match for Nice.

Saliba joined the French side on loan at the start of the month having been left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League squad.

The Gunners had signed Saliba from Saint-Etienne in 2019, though he is yet to make an appearance for Arsenal.

He returned to France in order to find some form and gain more experience with Arteta keen to keep the 19-year-old active.

And Saliba impressed in his second game for Nice, voted their best player in the 1-1 draw at Metz on Saturday.

Saliba started in the middle of a back three and produced a last-ditch intervention on Thierry Ambrose in injury time to ensure his new team took a point.

Nice have expressed an interest in keeping Saliba beyond the end of this season, and Saturday’s performance will only enhance those hopes.

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said: "Let’s let him rediscover enjoying being on the pitch, playing.

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"At the end of the 6 months, we’ll see – today he’s owned by a club called Arsenal. Everyone in June will come together and decide.

"A door is always open in life. When you have a situation where parties can talk, the doors are open. We are not there yet."

On his loan move, Saliba had said: "The coach [Arteta] immediately told me that I was not ready.

“I would have at least liked to have had a chance to rediscover my rhythm. But this is football, it's like that.

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“My first six months [at Arsenal] were difficult, because I was coming from six months where I wasn’t able to train because I was at home [due to the pandemic], and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play.

“I arrived there as they were finishing the league season, so I was training alone.

“As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.”

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