“Surely we could have used him … Nice must be happy”: Arsenal fans react to the fact that outcast William Saliba was named Man of the Game in his second game on loan as the defender engages in a superb last-minute tackle To make its earning side a much needed item
- French defender William Saliba was loaned to Nice by Arsenal last week
- The 19-year-old was put into action two days after his move against Brest
- It was his first competitive game in 10 months, but he impressed on Saturday
- He defeated teammates Amine Gouri and Youcef Atal to earn the best player award
Arsenal loanee William Saliba reminded his parents’ club and Mikel Arteta of his skill by winning Man of the Match in just his second game for Nice.
The 19-year-old moved to Ligue 1 on loan for the remainder of the season last week and was put into action just two days after losing to Brest.
That was his first competitive game for Saint-Etienne since March 8 last year against Bordeaux, but he was named Nice’s best player in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Metz.
Arsenal’s William Saliba (right) won the Man of the Match award in just his second game for Nice since he was on loan last week
He presented Metz ‘Thierry Ambrose with a crucial challenge to ensure that his new team would get a draw
Saliba beat his new teammates Amine Gouri and Youcef Atal to seal the award.
Nice took the lead early on with Gouiri’s penalty kick but was rejected in what would have been a second league win in nine games when Metz captain John Boye equalized with eleven minutes remaining.
Saliba was impressive, just as he had been against Brest, but showed his inexperience by losing his man ahead of time when Metz restored parity.
He atone for the mistake, however, by providing Thierry Ambrose with an excellent stoppage time challenge to ensure the loot was shared in the Saint-Symphorien state.
Saliba played his first first-team game in 10 months last week, coming for Saint Etienne
The former Manchester City youth player appeared to have the upper hand over Saliba and ran for the goal, only the center-back showed his brilliant pace of recovery to knock Ambrose off the ball and protect him from danger.
Some Arsenal fans on Twitter reacted with regret to Saliba’s performance, saying: “He could certainly have played for us in the Cup games. I don’t know why Arteta is being praised for being stubborn. ‘
In the meantime, another repeated these comments and said, “We certainly could have used him. Hopefully we’ll use it next season, “added another:” It’s nice to have a player like him loaned out. “
Another supporter was furious that Saliba had rejected the Gunners pecking order and added sarcastically, “Yeah, definitely not ready. I can see why [Shkodran] Mustafi and [Rob] Hold are ahead ‘followed by an annoyed face emoji.
Another also claimed Arteta showed some sort of favoritism, adding: ‘Arteta continues to praise [Pablo] Mari after giving him the right environment and path to prepare for the first team. Do you have a new contract, but William Saliba? “Not ready to borrow”.
However, Saliba’s challenge remains to defend Nice for now, with Adrian Ursea’s side looking to finish higher in the standings than their current position in 13th place after defeating former Gunners midfielder Patrick Vieira after five straight defeats last month Boss had fired.
Saliba was signed by Arsenal for £ 27m from Saint-Etienne in 2019 but has yet to qualify for the first team. Gunner boss Mikel Arteta is reluctant to throw the Frenchman into the rigors of English football before he feels ready.
There have been reports of the Spaniard’s concerns about Saliba’s positioning and his tendency to get into one-offs this summer, while the manager said earlier this season he still needed a “year of transition” after injuries and the coronavirus pandemic halted its development in 2019-20.
“The coach told me straight away that I was not ready,” said Saliba during his unveiling in Nice on Friday. “At least I would have loved to have had the opportunity to rediscover my rhythm.
“My first six months were difficult because I came from six months where I couldn’t train because I was at home and couldn’t train outside and couldn’t play.
“I got there when they finished the league season so I trained on my own. As soon as they came back from vacation, we quickly had the first friendlies where I lacked the rhythm and I was a bit inadequate physically. ‘