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Arsenal defender William Saliba has returned to France to join Nice from Ligue 1 on loan until the end of the season.
The 19-year-old center-back was signed from Saint-Etienne 18 months ago but has yet to appear with the Gunners, despite costing the club some £ 27m.
He spent last season again on loan with his old club to gain more experience but has been unable to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans, prompting Arsenal to confirm that he will return to France with a view to playing regularly in the first team. . football.
Sports director Edu told club website: “William Saliba is a player with a lot of talent and potential. We are confident that he will have a great career with us, but we must remember that he is still 19 years old and has a long time to go.
“William experienced a very challenging time last year, with his playing time limited by injury and the early end 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 to develop. We will stay in close contact with William during his time at Nice and hope to see him make good progress until the end. it’s from the season “.
Saliba’s inability to make his way into Arteta’s thinking is in stark contrast to former teammate Wesley Fofana, whose stock is climbing dramatically after his major move to Leicester. He is already seen at home in the Premier League, settling alongside Jonny Evans at the heart of the defense to propel the Foxes to the top three.
Arsenal still have hopes that Saliba will become a player of considerable talent, but this latest adventure back to his homeland was far from the plan when he returned to Emirates Stadium last summer.