A number of Arsenal fans have taken to Twitter to comment on William Saliba’s display last night.
The Emirates Stadium side signed the talented 19-year-old centre-back in the summer of 2019 in a £27million deal from Saint-Etienne.
Arsenal loaned Saliba back to the Ligue 1 club for the entirety of the 2019-20 season as part of the deal, where he made 17 appearances and reached the French Cup final.
Despite being tipped for a successful breakthrough this term, the centre-back didn’t make a single senior appearance for the Gunners, having to make do with games for the Under-23s.
Saliba’s lack of game time brought about a loan spell to Ligue 1 side Nice in January, and he has made 11 appearances for Les Aiglons.
He has done very well, being voted the team’s Player of the Month in January, and to date, no opposition player has successfully dribbled past him.
Saliba played in Friday night’s Ligue 1 game away at Rennes, a 2-1 win for the visitors, and performed very well overall.
Even though he did make a mistake for the hosts’ goal, misplacing an out ball to Martin Terrier, who went on to score with a great effort outside the area, he otherwise did well.
And plenty of Arsenal fans defended Saliba on social media:
Saliba had been excellent up until now but just passed the ball straight to a Rennes forward who went on to score with a beautiful shot. Big mistake…
— SamW (@SamW_AFC) February 26, 2021
That’s exactly why arteta insisted he wasn’t ready yet and needed a transition season. He needs to learn when to keep it simple. Good thing his mistake was punished now he’ll learn from it and improve that singular weakness in his game
— Sakaivit (@MustaphaLandas) February 26, 2021
Saliba had a good performance but he shot himself in the foot by trying to play long pass which he gives away to Terrier which he scores but he’s young he will make mistakes now and then that’s what young players do he will learn from his mistakes
— Adan (@Arsenal357) February 26, 2021
Saliba at fault for a goal, playing a poor ball out from the back is it?
Perfect, out on loan is exactly where we want him making this type of mistake.
— Neil Brooks (@NeilBrooksAFC) February 26, 2021
Which why he went on loan. Mistakes happen and more so in football
— Tayfun Avci (@AvciTay23) February 26, 2021
He was excellent in that game tbh
— GØATelli (@MartinGOATelli) February 26, 2021
Decent game by Saliba, silly error thats unlucky on Nice’s behalf to lead to a goal. Much better with his judging of 50/50’s today
— bartfb1907 (@bartfb1907) February 26, 2021