January 4, 2021
Saliba loaned to Le Gym
OGC Nice has been bolstered by the signing of central defender William Saliba, on loan from Arsenal until the end of the 2020-21 season.
It’s official. After undergoing his medical examination on Monday, William Saliba signed his contract with Le Gym, late in the afternoon. Loaned from Arsenal (without option to buy), the former Saint-Etienne player will reinforce Les Aiglons’ defensive ranks. He could make his first appearance for his new side as early as this Wednesday, away to Brest at 19:00.
Born in the Paris suburb of Bondy, the 19-year-old defender signed his first professional contract with ASSE in May 2018 having emerged from the club’s youth academy. And then? An incredible rise with the pros. Launched by then coach Jean-Louis Gasset at just 17 years of age, Saliba quickly became first-choice for Les Verts who finished the 2018-19 campaign in fourth place in Ligue 1.
His performances (16 L1 matches, 13 starts) convinced Arsenal to recruit the athletic 1.93m stopper, who won the Gambardella Youth Cup with Les Verts. Transferred to the British capital in 2019, the U20 international was immediately loaned back to Saint-Étienne, to continue his progression in Le Forez. Despite the curtailed season, due to the global pandemic, this second professional season saw him make another 17 first-team appearances and help Les Verts qualify for the Coupe de France final, before joining the Gunners. Yet to get his chance with Arsenal since the start of the season, Saliba has been offered an opportunity by the Rouge et Noir where Adrian Ursea expects him to ‘bring all his character to side’s game.’