William Saliba

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William Saliba
Lens - Nice (23-01-2021) 44 (cropped).jpg
Saliba with Nice in 2021
Personal information
Full name William Alain André Gabriel Saliba[1]
Date of birth (2001-03-24) 24 March 2001 (age 20)[2]
Place of birth Bondy, France
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)[3]
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
Marseille
(on loan from Arsenal)
Number 2
Youth career
2008–2014 AS Bondy
2014–2016 FC Montfermeil
2016–2018 Saint-Étienne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2018 Saint-Étienne II 3 (0)
2018–2019 Saint-Étienne 16 (0)
2019– Arsenal 0 (0)
2019–2020Saint-Étienne (loan) 12 (0)
2021Nice (loan) 20 (1)
2021–Marseille (loan) 17 (0)
National team
2017 France U16 7 (1)
2017–2018 France U17 6 (2)
2018 France U18 5 (1)
2018 France U19 3 (0)
2019 France U20 1 (0)
2021– France U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:13, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:35, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

William Alain André Gabriel Saliba (born 24 March 2001) is a French professional footballer who plays as a defender for Marseille, on loan from English club Arsenal.

Club career[edit]

Saint-Étienne[edit]

Saliba began playing football at the age of six, coached by the father of Kylian Mbappé. He eventually moved south to Saint-Étienne in 2016,[4] and signed his first contract at age 17, in May 2018.[5] Saliba then made his professional debut on 25 September 2018, featuring in a 3–2 Ligue 1 win over Toulouse.[6] He made 13 starting appearances in his first season at Saint-Étienne.[7]

After signing for Arsenal, Saliba returned to Saint-Étienne on loan for the 2019–20 season.[7] He played 17 games for the club across the campaign, helping Saint-Étienne reach the 2020 Coupe de France Final; he missed the match as the loan agreement ended two weeks prior to the final, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8]

Although looking to temporarily extend his loan, had Saliba featured, Arsenal reportedly would have been due to pay Saint-Étienne €2.5 million. The French club were reportedly reluctant to waive the fee and also requested full control over his training sessions. As a result, Saliba returned to Arsenal on 24 July 2020.[9]

Arsenal[edit]

On 25 July 2019, Arsenal announced that Saliba had signed a "long-term" contract with the club.[7] Media reported a contract duration of five years and that the transfer fee amounted to £27 million.[10] Arsenal faced competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur to complete the deal, with both clubs meeting Saint-Étienne's valuation of the player, however, Saliba chose to join Arsenal, with the club's interest in Saliba dating back to late 2018.[11]

Upon his return to Arsenal in 2020, Saliba was handed the number 4 shirt.[12][13] His first appearance for Arsenal was in a pre-season friendly match against MK Dons on 25 August 2020.[14] He was also an unused substitute in the 2020 FA Community Shield, which Arsenal clinched a 5–4 victory over Liverpool in the penalty shootout after the match was 1–1 after 90 minutes.[15][16] However, he was then left out of the club's competitive squads for the 2020–21 season, leaving him only able to play for Arsenal U23s, with manager Mikel Arteta expressing "regret [over] the decision" before a January six-month loan move to France.[17]

Loan to Nice[edit]

On 4 January 2021, Saliba joined Ligue 1 side Nice on loan for the remainder of the 2020–21 season.[18] He returned to France after reported plans for a loan to an unnamed EFL Championship club were scrapped.[19] On 6 January 2021, he made his debut in a 2–0 loss against Brest in Ligue 1.[20] Saliba was awarded Nice's Player of the Month award for his performances throughout January.[21][unreliable source?]

Loan to Marseille[edit]

Saliba again left Arsenal for a loan in the Ligue 1 in July 2021, joining Marseille for the 2021–22 season.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Saliba was born in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis.[23] He is of Cameroonian descent.[24]

On 9 February 2021, the French Football Federation launched an investigation into a video made by Saliba in 2018 that showed one of his France youth international teammates apparently touch himself and masturbate. The FFF decided to engage their disciplinary commission in order to investigate the situation further; they viewed the video filmed by Saliba as "harmful to the image of the federation & football as a whole".[25]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 9 January 2022[26]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Saint-Étienne II 2017–18 Championnat National 3 1 0 1 0
2018–19 Championnat National 2 2 0 2 0
Total 3 0 3 0
Saint-Étienne 2018–19 Ligue 1 16 0 2 0 1 0 19 0
Arsenal 2019–20 Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020–21 Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Arsenal U23 2020–21 2[a] 0 2 0
Saint-Étienne (loan) 2019–20 Ligue 1 12 0 3 0 0 0 2[b] 0 17 0
Nice (loan) 2020–21 Ligue 1 20 1 2 0 22 1
Marseille (loan) 2021–22 Ligue 1 18 0 1 0 6 0 25 0
Career total 69 1 8 0 1 0 10 0 88 1
  1. ^ Appearances in EFL Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League

Honours[edit]

Saint-Étienne

Arsenal

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019: List of Players: France" (PDF). FIFA. 15 May 2019. p. 4. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  2. ^ "William Saliba: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ "William Saliba: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ Faure, Anthony; Detout, Arnaud (27 September 2018). "Ligue 1 : William Saliba, un Bondynois sur les traces de Mbappé". Le Parisien (in French). Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  5. ^ @ASSEofficiel. "William Saliba passe professionnel".
  6. ^ "Toulouse FC - AS Saint-Etienne (2-3) - Saison 2018/2019 - Ligue 1 Conforama". www.lfp.fr.
  7. ^ a b c "#SalibaSigns: Saliba to join the club". Arsenal F.C. Official Website. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  8. ^ "France » Coupe de France 2019/2020 » Final". worldfootball.net. World Football. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Arsenal and Saint-Étienne fail to reach William Saliba agreement". Onefootball. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  10. ^ Cohen, Sonny (25 July 2019). "Arsenal sign Madrid's Ceballos on loan and £27m St Etienne defender Saliba". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Dani Ceballos and William Saliba sign for Arsenal". BBC Sport. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Future captain? William Saliba given legendary Arsenal shirt number". 23 July 2020.
  13. ^ "New Arsenal shirt numbers: Saka 7, Saliba in for Elneny, Ceballos hint". Evening Standard. 23 July 2020.
  14. ^ Byrom, David (25 August 2020). "Arsenal fans rave abour William Saliba's performance in win against MK Dons". Football.London. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (5-4 on pens): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secures Community Shield shootout win". Sky Sports. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  16. ^ Wilson, Amie (31 August 2020). "William Saliba was feeling the cold ahead of Community Shield trophy lift". Football.London. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  17. ^ "William Saliba: Mikel Arteta regrets leaving Arsenal defender out of Europa League squad". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  18. ^ "SALIBA LOANED TO LE GYM". OGC Nice. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  19. ^ "William Saliba: Mikel Arteta regrets leaving Arsenal defender out of Europa League squad". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  20. ^ "William Saliba produced a lovely piece of skill on the edge of his own box during Nice debut". GiveMeSport. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Arsenal loanee William Saliba wins Nice Player of the Month for January". Metro. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  22. ^ Orstein, David (15 July 2021). "Arsenal transfer news: William Saliba loan deal agreed with Marseille". The Athletic. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  23. ^ "William Saliba". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  24. ^ Jacob, Gary (25 July 2019). "William Saliba: The promising teenager coached by Kylian Mbappé's father". The Times. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  25. ^ "The FFF to open an investigation into William Saliba video controversy". Get French Football News. 9 February 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  26. ^ William Saliba at Soccerway
  27. ^ Sanders, Emma (29 August 2020). "Arsenal 1–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2020.

External links[edit]