Nice chief hints at possibility of extended stay for Arsenal’s William Saliba

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Jean-Pierre Rivere, president of Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice, has hinted that William Saliba remaining at the club beyond the end of the season is not out of the question.

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: William Saliba of Arsenal U21 walks off from pitch after receiving red card during the EFL Trophy match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 8, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Nice switch

The major transfer news at the Emirates last week of course came in the form of confirmation that Saliba had departed north London for the 2nd-half of the campaign.

In a post across the club’s social media platforms, Arsenal announced that their out-of-favour young stopper had returned to his home country with OGC Nice, on a 6-month loan:

This of course came with Saliba having failed to garner a single first-team appearance under Mikel Arteta over the opening half of the campaign.

‘Door is always open…’

Despite his struggles for game-time at the Emirates, though, Saliba has since been plugged directly into the backline of his new club.

Nice fell to a 2-0 defeat to Brest last Wednesday, with the Arsenal stopper, just days after his arrival, having been utilised from the off.

And Saliba was back in from the first whistle over the weekend, when Les Aiglons made the trip to Metz, for a Ligue 1 clash.

The youngster, much like his side, fared considerably better in his latest outing, with a key interception to snuff out a potential gut-punch at the death having ensured that the visitors returned to the southeast of France with a share of the spoils:

And, as outlined above, if the latest comments on the part of Nice’s president are anything to go by, then the club’s fans could yet be treated to watching Saliba in action in their side’s colours beyond the terms of his current deal.

When drawn on the possibility of the young stopper remaining at the Allianz Riviera past the summer, Jean-Pierre Rivere had the following to say:

‘Let’s let him rediscover enjoying being on the pitch, playing.’

‘At the end of the six months, we’ll see – today he’s owned by a club called Arsenal. Everyone will come together in June and decide.’

‘A door is always open in life. When you have a situation where parties can talk, the doors are open. We will see, we are not there yet.’

Quotes via Goal

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# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
2 Manchester United FC 16 9 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
5 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
6 Southampton FC 17 7 29
7 Everton FC 16 6 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17 -6 22
14 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 16 -8 19
16 Burnley FC 15 -11 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 17 -21 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

Source: 101greatgoals.com