Arsenal defender William Saliba is primed to depart the club on loan once again this summer, it has been confirmed.
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.
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.
🦅 Aiglon @credit_agri_PCA de janvier
— OGC Nice (@ogcnice) February 6, 2021
Saliba’s fine form back in France, though, did 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 media on Friday 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 are in for a rude awakening.
As per a report from the highly reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic, the 20-year-old is in fact all set for another loan departure from North London.
His likely landing spot? Marseille.
A whole host of clubs, from England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany, are understood to have expressed an interest in Saliba’s signature this summer. The defender himself, though, has come to the decision that a move to the Stade Velodrome would best aid his development.
In turn, negotiations between Marseille and Arsenal will soon get underway, with an agreement ultimately expected to be found.
Significantly, Ornstein also goes on to assure that, despite having not yet made a senior appearance for the Gunners, Saliba remains a key ‘part of the club’s long-term thinking’.
🚨 Exclusive: Arsenal defender William Saliba looks set to join Marseille on loan. Not done but 20yo has picked #OM from many options & now clubs need to agree deal. #AFC want him to get full season playing — still part of long-term thinking @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/RemZlyyb5J
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 2, 2021
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