A good loan is ‘smart’ and ‘NOT a punishment’ for William Saliba, says Bacary Sagna … as ex-Arsenal defender backs £ 27million center-back to adjust to Premier League after his return to France
- William Saliba has yet to play for Arsenal since Saint Etienne’s £ 27million transfer
- He spent all last season on loan in Ligue 1 before returning
- However, 20-year-old Saliba has been left out of Arsenal squads for the first half of that term.
- He returned to France with Nice in January and played 14 times for them
- Ex-gunner Bacary Sagna thinks decision to send him on loan was ‘smart’
According to former club star Bacary Sagna, William Saliba’s loan to Nice in January was “smart” from Arsenal and not a form of punishment for the defender.
The 20-year-old center-back has yet to feature for the Gunners’ first team in a competitive game since he sealed a £ 27million transfer from Saint-Etienne in 2019.
The France Under-20 international spent all of last season in Ligue 1 as part of the deal, but after returning to north London he was left out of Mikel Arteta’s squads in the Premier League and in Europa League for the first half of the current campaign. and he publicly expressed his displeasure.
William Saliba has yet to play for Arsenal’s first team and is on loan at Nice (left); but the move was not a punishment, according to former gunner Bacary Sagna (right)
Saliba spent the entire last season at Saint Etienne as part of his £ 27million move to Arsenal
This saw Saliba relegated to the limelight for Arsenal’s U23s before sealing a loan back to France, where he has made 14 appearances so far under Adrian Ursea.
But speaking to Goal, former Arsenal right-back Sagna thinks it was ‘smart’ of the club to go on loan and expects him to adjust to the Premier League at the end of the day. ‘to come up.
“I’m not surprised because he joined the best league in the world,” said former Manchester City and France defender Sagna.
“Being good in France is totally different from proving yourself in the Premier League. I still have confidence in him, I think he’s a good player and he can adapt to Arsenal because I’ve seen him play a few times.
But the center-back has been left out of Mikel Arteta’s squads for the first half of this season
“He is doing well in Nice and was probably their best player. At that age, you have to play. He has a lot of potential and in France people know that.
“Firing him is not a bad thing, it is not a punishment. For me it’s smart to send it [on loan] rather than being on the bench or even not being part of the team.
Sagna himself was brought to England by former Gunners boss Arsène Wenger in 2007 after playing for the French side Auxerre.
The 20-year-old had to play for the U23s before sealing a return to France in January
The 38-year-old won the 2014 FA Cup with current Arsenal boss Arteta but left for Man City the same summer with a free transfer.
But while Sagna has claimed Saliba was not punished by being forcibly loaned out by his former teammate, the young center-back saw it differently last month.
Speaking to RMC, the Nice player of the month for January said Arteta “had judged me on two and a half matches” and “told me that I was not ready”.
He also complained that he was “locked up” by Arteta while commenting on a social media post by Matteo Guendouzi, who was exiled and loaned to Hertha Berlin.
Sagna was Arteta’s teammate at Arsenal and the duo won the FA Cup together in 2014