A fresh update on the future of Arsenal defender William Saliba has been forthcoming in the French media on Sunday evening.
Allianz Riviera stint
French starlet Saliba of course spent the last few months plying his trade in Ligue 1, with OGC Nice.
This came with the 20-year-old having endured an altogether disappointing opening half to the campaign in North London, during which he was restricted to outings with Arsenal’s youth sides.
Saliba, though, subsequently went on to enjoy a solid stint back in his home country.
The former Saint-Etienne man quickly established himself as a mainstay in Nice’s backline upon his arrival, forming an encouraging partnership with fellow loanee Jean-Clair Todibo.
Nice’s French defender William Saliba (L) is challenged by Metz’s French forward Thierry Ambrose during the French L1 football match between Football Club de Metz and OGC Nice at the Saint-Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-Les-Metz, eastern France on January 9, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)
All told, Saliba notched 22 appearances across all competitions, including 20 Ligue 1 starts.
The Arsenal loanee was even named Player of the Month by Les Aiglons’ fans back in February, on the back of his first five appearances in the club’s colours.
Saliba’s fine form back in France, though, has done little to quell the constant chatter surrounding Arsenal’s treatment of the young stopper.
Many remain of the opinion that he should have been handed the opportunity to impress as part of Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad over the opening half of the campaign, with the club having been overly harsh in their treatment of a potential star in the making.
If the latest word stemming from the French media on Sunday is anything to go by, though, then those of a Gunners persuasion who remain hopeful of seeing Saliba back in their side’s colours next season could be in for a rude awakening.
As per a report from Le10Sport (citing La Provence), the central defender remains in high demand this summer. A host of clubs have expressed a keen interest in luring Saliba away from the Emirates, whether on loan or a permanent basis.
Chief among them are Marseille, who are said to be hopeful of pairing the 20-year-old with David Luiz, following the expiration of the latter’s contract in North London.
OM, however, are joined in the Saliba sweepstakes by Ligue 1 rivals Nice and Stade Rennais, and Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
Another Arsenal exit for the stopper has therefore not been ruled out.