KEY POINTS

  • Arsenal sends William Saliba to French club Nice on loan
  • Saliba looks forward to finishing the season with Nice
  • The player airs disappointment over his treatment at Arsenal

William Saliba has expressed his disappointment over how little playing time he got with Arsenal, diminishing the chance to prove his worth as a football player.

The center-back was signed in a £27 million ($37 million) deal from St. Etienne in July 2019 but was immediately loaned back to the club for that entire campaign.

The French tenderfoot returned to Arsenal in the summer of 2020 but failed to make a single appearance for the Gunners in his first six months with the club.

"I really, really, really didn't think that I would be transferred for €30 million, to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves, play zero, zero, nothing in the Europa League or the league," Saliba told Telefoot, as quoted on ESPN.

“I was in the squad once in the league cup. It hurt me, it affected me. I don't think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. I don't think I left too early. These things happen. I believe in myself," he added.

The English Premier League side decided to end his misery by agreeing to send him on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign to French Ligue 1 outfit Nice.

“For me, the best choice, [the] best decision was to join Nice because there is a good project, a good team, a good level of ambition, who like to play in a certain way,” he said of the French club.

"It feels good to play and to have consistent game time, I am young, I am 19, and it is by playing matches like this that you improve. You see what mistakes you make and you correct them,” Saliba continued.

However, Nice does not possess the option to make the defender’s deal permanent in the summer--with Arsenal and head coach Mikel Arteta keen on keeping Saliba in North London.

Saliba might make his first appearance in Nice uniform on Wednesday as the Adrian Ursea-mentored brigade squares off with AS Monaco at the Stade Louis II.

Mikel Arteta is searching for answers at Arsenal Mikel Arteta is searching for answers at Arsenal Photo: POOL / Jon Super