William Saliba is leaving Arsenal for Ligue 1 this month.
The decision will spark heated discussions from fans who continue to be aggrieved about how William Saliba‘s career at Arsenal has led to this point. However, there is no space for surprise as the writing has been firmly on the wall for months.
Ever since the summer where the paperwork was not completed in time to loan him back to Saint-Etienne for another temporary spell, the eventual route into the Arsenal first team was inevitably set for the following campaign.
Even before that, the decision to pull the plug on Rob Holding‘s loan to Newcastle shortly after the Community Shield victory acted as an indicator of where Saliba was in his development. For all the hype and expectancy, it became apparent that the 19-year-old would need more time adapting before making his senior bow.
A family bereavement in May would have been tough for anyone to deal with, although Saliba was said to have shown great mental strength during the difficult period.
His omission from the Europa League squad still left fans befuddled, not least as injured duo Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari were included despite not making an appearance in the group stages until the final round of fixtures. Not to mention being handed the No. 4 shirt.
In total, Saliba has made a senior squad once this season, that coming back in September during a Carabao Cup third round clash with Leicester. He remained on the bench.
With a move to Nice set up for the remainder of the season, given the options available, was the Ligue 1 side the ideal destination for the defender? Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives.