Despite costing Arsenal £27m, William Saliba has never played a senior match for Arsenal. Away from North London however, Saliba has been an ever-present this season and may well end up as a runner-up in Ligue 1.
After agreeing a deal to go to Arsenal back in 2019, Saliba has spent most of his time in France since. For the first six months of last season Saliba was left unregistered for six months before agreeing a loan deal to OGC Nice. This season he joined Olympique Marseilles at the beginning of the season, where he has been delivering on the potential that tempted Arsenal into spending that money on him.
Under Jorge Sampaoli, Saliba has played every minute of the Ligue 1 season aside from one game, forming part of a regular defensive pairing. Only three teams in the league have better defences than Marseille this season, which is impressive given Sampaoli’s always adventurous approach.
That has led Saliba to be nominated for the ‘Meilleur Espoir’ award for the best young player, alongside Castello Kuleba, Nuno Mendes and Khephren Thuram, as reported by Arseblog. According to the same article, Saliba has been clear that he will not accept a bit-part role at Arsenal next season should he return after his loan.