Saturday, July 13, 2024

Confirmed: Saliba joins Nice on loan

It has been confirmed that William Saliba will spend the rest of the season on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice.

The 19-year-old centre-back returns to France to gain further first team experience after a frustrating six months at Arsenal that has seen him playing his football for the club’s under-23s.

There were high hopes for the defender when he was signed from Saint-Etienne for £28 million in the summer of 2019, but he’s not managed to persuade Mikel Arteta that he’s ready for life in the Premier League.

We also failed to complete documentation in time so he could go on loan before the ‘summer’ window closed, which meant he was left in limbo – a poor state of affairs for player and club.

Speaking about the move to the official site, Technical Director Edu said, “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.

“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.”

We wish William the best in Nice, we’ve no doubt he’ll be champing at the bit to make an impression.

Check out the brand new Arsecast Extra chatting West Brom, Saliba, a new goalkeeper and more


This Arsecast Extra was recorded with ipDTL

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Merlin’s Panini

Actually it can be either. Champing is the old english, chomping is newer parlance.

Johnny 4 Hats

So both chaps are champs?

DB10s airmiles

Or chomps.

Tanned arse

Chumps in the case or arteta and edu

Viju Jacob



Dunno man, certainly Chomping is super common since it sounds similar, kinda makes sense, and Champing is not a common word these days… but does ignorance of old words make incorrect usage correct?
Evolution of language is a funny thing. I do feel sorry for our international friends who have no idea why Leicester, for example, has a bunch of redundant letters.


Googles chomping and champing

Opens a packet of chips




We’re far less guilty than the Poles!


I know it’s old ground but seriously feel we have handled this player so so badly, for him and for us and even residual values. I hope he can finally get a good season in, no injuries and come back into the fold with something to contribute


The club have massively mishandled this situation. Why didn’t they let him play in the cup final to bring him back and never use him? If they didn’t wanna risk him picking up an injury because he was in the plans for this season I could understand but that’s not been the case. This is a strange situation


And people are still spouting the failed loan as an excuse why he wasn’t in Europa squad. Bollocks. Deadline day was 05 October. Europe squad submissions 06 October. We chose to put in mustafi and a crocked mari over a £30M wunderkind CB that could have at least 6 Europa games under his belt in the arsenal shirt by now. A grand bollocksing. As @David J M says below, it’s hard to see him wanting to come back to arsenal after the way he’s been treated.


Apparently his mate Fofana said ‘He is finally free’ whilst sharing a post of Saliba leaving..sounds like Saliba had a really rough time.

Johnny 4 Hats

Urgh. This doesn’t look pretty. Let’s hope it’s just a rival player stirring shit and William doesn’t bare Arsenal any ill will.

I’d be very interested to know how Arteta and co were able to entirely write off Saliba’s season at Arsenal from just a few training sessions. How bad did they go?!

I know there’s been emotional trauma but this comment from Fofana would suggest it’s not all about that.

At a club packed with mysterious behaviour, this might be our biggest mystery yet. If only we formerly employed a PI to get to the bottom of all this…


Worrying that other Arsenal players such as Pepe and Guendouzi have been involved in similar comments.

Johnny 4 Hats

Let’s face facts. Don Raul got coked up, went rogue and drove to France in his dressing gown with a £100m in cash in the boot of his BMW. After spending the night in a motel smashing brandy and watching YouTube videos of French football, he waited until sunrise before immediately making a £72m offer for Pepe. This stumped Napoli’s offer of £40m. He then drove to Saint Etienne, emptied the remainder of the cash on their owners doorstep, and, lighting a cigar and thinking he had just signed Forfana, headed to Monte Carlo for a game of roulette and… Read more »


He’s 19! We could buy a 21 year old CB and still think him a kid. We haven’t handled most stuff well and it has been a turbulent spell post Wenger. Even if this kid went on loan for the next 2-3 years he can still come back at 22 and have 10+ years with us if all went well. This is not Arsenal running under normal circumstances and you look at it the guys who brought him in are all gone and it’s not even a full footballing year( with cancellation of leagues here and there) What’s done is… Read more »


Why would Saliba want to extend his contract with us, under the same manager who kept his career in deep freeze and regress relative to his peers?

Tanned arse

Exactly. This is why arteta should not be ‘manager’. Saliba is arsenal’s player and our assest. If arteta loses his job (cough cough never gonna happen I know) it doesn’t affect him that saliba moved else where. What does he care. He should be utilising what players he has not wasting club talents and our future.

Bad egg

Finally! Someone with some balanced perspective! It’s so weird to see everyone freaking out like we’ve ruined the player and his career irreparably. Yes, things were not handled and smoothly as they should have, but he’s a 19year old Centre Back. If anything I’m grateful he didn’t get tossed into the deep end unprepared. The same fans raving about what a great talent he is would have been the one to tear him to pieces if he manages to make a couple of mistakes. Then the discussion would have been how horrible the Arsenal management is to buy an unproven… Read more »

Tanned arse

You’ve not watched him play, have you


Cock up by Edu & Arteta at the beginning..
Now trying to rectify it… bit late, but hey ho
‘ Trust the process ‘

SB Still

This was one player that Arteta excluded from his squad that was baffling. The other senior exclusions (Ozil, Sokratis, Torriera) and younger players with potential (Guendouzi) were understandable but Saliba was baffling. In the 1st place we didn’t let him play in the finals (because of a reported financial impact, which can’t be much considering what we paid for him already), for the club that he had his breakthrough with, his 1st major finals, against a big team. We said Saliba has been through a lot (his mother’s demise, lack of playing time, moving to a new country, league, club… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

I have a feeling he won’t want to return. If only he’d managed the ‘non-negotiables’ as well as Willian. Seriously though, if it pans out that he moves on and excels, Arteta will have a lot to answer for. His handling of the player has been woeful.

Bad egg

He can’t simply refuse to return ffs! He’s an Arsenal player!

I think people are simply transposing the Guendouzi relationship with Arteta over this one. There’s been nothing to suggest Arteta has a problem with Saliba! He’ll be playing for Arsenal next season, calm down

Hank Scorpio

I’m not suggesting he’s going to refuse to come back. Agreed, there’s little to go on aside from social media posts people are choosing to interpret in certain ways and platitudes from Arteta. Completely excluding the player from all competions and not considering him as an option in any capacity for the second half of the season speaks volumes. From Saliba’s perspective, his similar aged former backup is getting more games for a better team and he doesn’t seem to have any prospects for first team football here. He’ll be back to square one developmentally at Arsenal and with respect… Read more »


Everyone needs to relax. I’m sure Saliba was not happy going from Ligue 1 to the U23s, so he’s happy to be back in professional league again. It is always disappointing to a young player who believes in himself to be told that he needs more time, that he needs to gain more experience, but it is really not more than that. He’ll come back in the summer raring to go, and his pathway into the first team will be much, much clearer (there won’t be 6 players ahead of him with more experience). But I guess you all just… Read more »

Tanned arse

Seriously doubt he’ll play for us, ever. Arteta doesn’t want him and I’ll be curious if we ever end up with garcia from man city because it wouldn’t surprise me if his relationship with that young spanish kid was the reason he didn’t want to give saliba a chance to shine all along. The whole thing stinks and anyone who watched him play knows it


García isn’t coming here. He’s been first choice for City & turned down a contract extension to supposedly go back to Barcelona at the end of the season. I love Arsenal but no one is voluntarily leaving first choice at a club competing for league and CL titles to go to a rebuild.


– sans Partey type scenario where we pay him 10 times what he was making at his club which clearly doesn’t apply to city

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Loan to a club that will likely not do well does not help a defender. He will get a lot of goals against and look helpless. I would have liked Lille, Marseille or a german club.


The best thing for him is to get a bunch of game time in a competitive league. Lille, Marseille etc are not going to give him that.

If he buckles under the pressure of playing for a team where he has a lot of work to do, he’s not going to fit in well here anyway. A mid-table team in the french league is a pretty ideal place for him, assuming we’ve done our diligence and he’s actually going to play there every week.


Chambers improved a lot by playing for Fulham when they got relegated.


nice are 12th and 5 points away from 4th spot. They aint that bad.

Johnny 4 Hats

You sound like an Arsenal fan…


Ha. Honestly this is shaping up like the Leicester year where no one looks particularly good in the PL. If we don’t make the top 4 this year (crazy but there’s only 7 points between 1st & 10th right now), we’ll look back at this year as a massive missed opportunity IMO. Especially with how tight finances are, the money from making the CL will be even more important.

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s worth remembering that conditions for consistency are just terrible. It’s all very well saying that we should just breeze through the pack now and make a play for top 4. But we have the same constraints as everyone else. There’s just so much craziness going on that we are going to have to get very lucky to be able to continue this wonderful purple patch. An outbreak in our team could fuck us beyond belief. However this is a season where we left December ‘20 as relegation candidates and entered January ‘21 as top 4 hopefuls. So we’ll probably… Read more »


Yep – in any other year we would be screwed already in terms of league position but this year it’s all so close. That said even with our 3 game win streak, the first 1/2 of the year has been just a trainwreck. We’re not good enough to be competing for the title but we shouldn’t have been flirting with the relegation zone at the 1/2 point either. Massive underperformance.

Johnny 4 Hats

Big prediction time from the 4 Hats.

We finish 8th.
But win the Europa.

Dunno why, I just see us going all the way this year.


Let’s see how we go. We have, on paper, two quite winnable games coming up that will take us to 19 played and the midway point of the season. I’m hoping we can at least build some momentum because fixtures from Man Utd at the end of Jan, then on through February look very tough.

I think most teams will have a poor patch this year. Fingers crossed we’ve got ours out the way.


As opposed to us, 11th and 6 points off 4th?


Didn’t do Rob Holding any harm.


An English club would have made more sense to me, but it might be the next step once he gets his confidence back.
The good thing is we can give him time to develop, now that we seem to have decent centre-backs to rely on (Holding, Gabriel, Mari, hopefully Chambers in a few months).


I’m not sure he’s going to want to stay here just to go to some low table English club on loan. He already was a starter at In the French league and had seen a similar profile player perform very well for Leicester this year


I hope he enjoys his time there and gets to play, I really feel for this young man after the terrible 2020 he’s had. Hopefully he’s still keen to come back and prove himself at Arsenal, he’s a talented young player and should be our future.


Baffling. Can also think how the relationship between him and Arteta is now. I expected the young players will love him and want to play for him, to realize the glorious vision (we had at the time). Can’t imagine he would be crazy to come back to us if Arteta is still here, and if we’ll want him for next season, Arteta and Edu will need to work on convincing him a bit to stay with us.

David J M

Really can’t see him wanting to come back after the way he has been treated.


Honest question: Do we really know that this mishandling is all on Arteta? I mean, is he really pushing all the paperwork through himself? The back room structure was an absolute circus. And if Saliba wasn’t ready he wasn’t ready. Look at the off-pitch shit the kid had to endure. Beyond that he’s just 19, making the leap from League 1 to the PL, and our CB situation was already a hot mess at the start of the year. If Gabriel hadn’t exceeded expectations we’d have been right fucked. Lots of backs, but injuries left, right, and center, and plenty… Read more »


The paperwork situation is 100% on Edu – that’s his job.


Yes, but the doubling down the following day on leaving him off the Euro squad is squarely on Mikel. This is the problem with the Saliba situation, it’s not just one thing, it’s one cockup after another. With him talking about being “locked up” he clearly has gained little fondness for Arsenal. There are some massive issues to patch up for us to salvage his Arsenal career.

...and really bad eggs

Think about it like this. Arteta must had already chosen his squad with the mindset that Saliba would be on loan. Suddenly he’s not going anymore. Is he really going to take out a member of the squad he already planned around for a new 19year old centre back coming from Ligue 1 with just a number of games under his belt. Considering that he is also integrating another new CB also in an unstable backline? In terms of numbers we had enough centre backs. Look at the squad Arteta selected. Surely you can see how it is easy to… Read more »


So, is Arteta going to be for Saliba what Tony Pulis was for Gnabry??


Gnabry under Pulis. Talk about a pearl before a swine.


This gave me a vivid image of Saliba belting out I’m the highway by Audioslave: “Pearls and swine bereft of me. Long and weary, my road has been.”

Hank Scorpio

Seems like it. Time will tell


Yes, but you have to question Arsenal again for sending him to Stoke…why the fuck would we send him there?!

A Voice in the Noise

We didn’t though, we sent Gnabry to West Brom when Pulis managed them.
Still baffling though, I’ll give you that.


True thanks for the clarification. Either way Pulis was involved. Why did we send him to that cretin?


Can’t really see the point of loaning him into the French League once again.Surely Arsenal should have been looking for a Championship loan arrangement at the very least. Arteta obviously doesn’t think much of him and as we are beginning to realise won’t usually entertain anyone who’s not on his “favourite’s list” Not the best judge…as we now know when we consider that he tried to get Mustafi to sign s new contract and extended Luiz by s further 12 months. His treatment of Saliba all the more difficult to understand when we notice that his less fancied partner at… Read more »


Was Saliba one of the players who didn’t take a pay cut? Can’t remember if I read it somewhere or just thought it up, but I feel maybe it could explain his lack of opportunities given the similar treatment of Ozil. Don’t think Saliba made the squad for any game after the Community Shield

DB10s airmiles

He was in France at that time.




The “whistleblowers” always seem good at spotting these things the rest of us don’t barely notice… 🤔


I’m not certain that we’ll see him back at The Emirates. I think he’s been so poorly managed since signing for us that he’ll be thinking very seriously as to whether he wants to return. I can’t really blame him if he doesn’t.

Bad egg

So what’s he going to do? Stay in France and refuse to come back to the Arsenal when his loan expires? The over reaction to this Saliba situation by our fans has my mind blown! Yes things have not been perfect, but it’s not like Arteta took out a pistol and shot him in the leg! Yes he left him out of the squad but it’s not like we didn’t have 9 CB’s to choose from at the beginning of the season. There literally was no squad space. Also he was actually supposed to go on loan. Which means he… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Describing this as anything less than a farce is extremely generous in my opinion. Hardly blowing things out of proportion. From Saliba’s perspective what benefits has Arteta brought to his development?


He picked a badly injured Mari AND Mustafi over him and that is just considering the CBs. No space though? And the loan thing? really? Again? transfer deadline day: 05.10.2020; Euro squad submission day: 06.10.2020.

Tomaury Bischfeld

So you’re one of the most highly rated youngsters in Europe, playing regularly in ligue 1 we’ve paid £30 million for you, welcome to the club. Actually you’re not good enough to play against Dundalk or to even be included in the PL squad. It’s so bizarre. There was some talk that he had lost family members this year / issues in his personal life. In that case, how is it arriving as a young guy in a new city and being frozen out of your new club? What’s the other side to this? I don’t know whether to take… Read more »


Not as bizarre as leaving your most expensive earner out of the comparison really


Arteta is the one who should be going out on loan, he needs more managerial experience. running AFC is to big a job for a first time manager!

Tierneys tescobag

Offtopic but: To dear Blogs and James regarding their arsecast discussion on few great january signings: remember our top goalscorer with number 14? He’s been our best player last few years?😅 what was his name again…

Bossman Bill

Good decision, hopefully this will give Mustafi more chances to play.

DB10s airmiles



He’s on 40k a week. If true we have at least not rendered his resale value impossible by putting him on monster wages.

Still begs the question how a 28 million pound signing isn’t good enough to play for us two seasons in though.

Merlin’s Panini

He’s still incredibly young, particularly for a centre back. There’s time for him to improve on what is obviously and abundance of talent. I just hope he doesn’t pick up any more untimely injuries or get fucked by another lockdown.
Best of luck to him.


Wish him the best of luck! If he builds experience, confidence and comes back the highly touted prospect we thought we bought in the first place then all the better. We will have removed a lot of deadwood by that point, and with a leaner squad filled with characters on-board with the coaches system, we will be much more prepared to integrate a 20-year-old centre back into the Arsenal. I don’t think the club handled the communications on this player well at all. But if what we hear is to be believed I think that keeping him away from the… Read more »

DB10s airmiles

Well said, one of the last sane fans with a sense of nuance on this site.

Viju Jacob

Calling our lads deadwood is nuanced?

The Arsenal

Maybe the kid generally wanted to go home after his parents death…..
But considering this club and transfers…..
Like I said this could be down to a clerical error considering the shambolic leadership.
One hope is that there is no option to buy so Arteta wants him back and can have a good look at him next season pre season. Mustafi/sokratis/luiz will be gone and we wont have to buy a Cb.


Unfortunate handling of the situation & it must be frustrating for the kid but as mentioned never forget he is an absolute baby in age terms for a CB! If Arteta & Edu dont feel he is ready yet for the 1st team its best he goes on loan. Im sure he will get games next season if good enough. I think people get carried away because of the transfer fee. Fact is Wenger signed Mustafi who cost more & had higher level experience & was disappointing. Another Wenger signing Callum Chambers cost an awful lot of money at the… Read more »

This is a very Nice transfer.


I assume this was agreed back in October to give Edu and friends enough time to finish the paperwork.


So Saliba is not ready for the Premier but he is for League 1? I don’t get this.


Besides PSG its a farmers league.


Dani Ceballos: “My goal is to return to Real Madrid”
I’ll help you pack Dani.


ha ha.. good one!

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Heads should roll for this mistake.

Any employee would probably be sacked for fucking up the paperwork on a 30mil pound asset, setting the company and the asset back for a couple of months.

Arsenal should not be any different.


Heads did roll. Don Raul is gone – he is the one that bought saliba over to the arsenal.

Granit(e) hard!

I dont know for sure but something does seem off on this one…can a young player that the footballing world were raving about as a wonderkid not so long ago be really that bad that he couldnt even get minutes in some of the dead rubbers we’ve had?


Complete waste of money.

Sanlehi with 99m out on Pepe and Saliba extended over 5 windows.

Out of depth.

Those who were waxing lyrical about Saliba.

I mentioned then he had limited (if reasonably impressive) appearances for St Etienne, not enough to justify large outlay or assure consistency now.

Here we are.



Literally everyone who watched them together rated Saliba higher than Fofana, who’s showing composure and pretty amazing talent at Everton.

Hope the stupid mistakes we’ve made with this kid’s development don’t sour his desire to play for the club.

I still believe Arteta’s our man but this is probably my biggest criticism of his short tenure as boss.

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