|Full name||William Alain André Gabriel Saliba|
|Date of birth||24 March 2001|
|Place of birth||Bondy, France|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2019–2020||→ Saint-Étienne (loan)||12||(0)|
|2021||→ Nice (loan)||20||(1)|
|2021–2022||→ Marseille (loan)||36||(0)|
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:17, 12 March 2023 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 30 November 2022
William Alain André Gabriel Saliba (born 24 March 2001) is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Arsenal and the France national team.
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, and signed his first contract at age 17, in May 2018. Saliba then made his professional debut on 25 September 2018, featuring in a 3–2 Ligue 1 win over Toulouse. He made 13 starting appearances in his first season at Saint-Étienne.
After signing for Arsenal, Saliba returned to Saint-Étienne on loan for the 2019–20 season. 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.
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.
On 25 July 2019, Arsenal announced that Saliba had signed a "long-term" contract with the club. Media reported a contract duration of five years and that the transfer fee amounted to £27 million. 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.
After spending the 2019–20 season on loan at former club Saint-Étienne, Saliba was handed the number 4 shirt upon his return to Arsenal in 2020. His first appearance for Arsenal was in a pre-season friendly match against MK Dons on 25 August 2020. 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. 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, for whom he featured in EFL Trophy games away to Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon, receiving a red card in the latter fixture. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta would later express "regret [over] the decision" before a January six-month loan move to France.
Loan to Nice
On 4 January 2021, Saliba joined Ligue 1 club Nice on loan for the remainder of the 2020–21 season. He returned to France after reported plans for a loan to an unnamed EFL Championship club were scrapped. On 6 January 2021, he made his debut in a 2–0 loss against Brest in Ligue 1. Saliba was awarded Nice's Player of the Month award for his performances throughout January.
Loan to Marseille
Saliba again left Arsenal for a loan in the Ligue 1 in July 2021, joining Marseille for the 2021–22 season. With fellow Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi, he made his competitive debut for the club when he started in a 3−2 away win against Montpellier on 8 August 2021. He would make a total of 52 appearances and help the club reach the semi-finals of the inaugural Europa Conference League season, whilst also securing Champions League football for the club's following season. Saliba was named as Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and was awarded a position in the Team of the Year. Despite interest from Marseille and other European clubs for another season away from Arsenal, Saliba announced his desire to return to Arsenal when speaking with French football programme Téléfoot.
Return to Arsenal
Ahead of the 2022–23 season, Saliba was given the number 12 shirt. He made his Arsenal and Premier League debut on 5 August 2022 in an opening day fixture away to Crystal Palace. Arsenal won the game 2−0 with Saliba's performance being described by the BBC as "unruffled and virtually faultless". He scored his first goal for the club two weeks later in a win over AFC Bournemouth, with a curled shot from the edge of the box. The strike was voted as the club's Goal of the Month for August.
On 21 March 2022, Saliba received a call-up to France's senior squad for the first time as an injury replacement to Benjamin Pavard to play in friendlies against the Ivory Coast and South Africa. He played in five of France's 2022–23 UEFA Nations League games. In November 2022, Saliba was called up to the 26-man France squad that would compete in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He made his tournament debut on 30 November, replacing Raphaël Varane in the 63rd minute of France's final group game against Tunisia.
Saliba was born in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis. His father is Lebanese and his mother is Cameroonian.
- As of match played 16 March 2023
|Club||Season||League||National cup[a]||League cup[b]||Europe||Other||Total|
|Saint-Étienne II||2017–18||Championnat National 3||1||0||—||—||—||—||1||0|
|2018–19||Championnat National 2||2||0||—||—||—||—||2||0|
|Saint-Étienne (loan)||2019–20||Ligue 1||12||0||3||0||0||0||2[c]||0||—||17||0|
|Nice (loan)||2020–21||Ligue 1||20||1||2||0||—||—||—||22||1|
|Marseille (loan)||2021–22||Ligue 1||36||0||3||0||—||13[e]||0||—||52||0|
- ^ Includes Coupe de France, FA Cup
- ^ Includes Coupe de la Ligue, EFL Cup
- ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Europa League
- ^ Appearances in EFL Trophy
- ^ Six appearances in UEFA Europa League, six appearances in UEFA Europa Conference League
- As of match played 30 November 2022
- Coupe de France runner-up: 2019–20
- FIFA World Cup runner-up: 2022
- UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year: 2021–22
- UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2021–22
- ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019: List of Players: France" (PDF). FIFA. 15 May 2019. p. 4. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- ^ "William Saliba: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- ^ "William Saliba: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
- ^ a b James, Josh (8 October 2022). "Long read: Saliba on his lifelong love of Arsenal". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
- ^ 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.
- ^ @ASSEofficiel. "William Saliba passe professionnel".
- ^ "Toulouse FC - AS Saint-Etienne (2-3) - Saison 2018/2019 - Ligue 1 Conforama". www.lfp.fr.
- ^ a b c "#SalibaSigns: Saliba to join the club". Arsenal F.C. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- ^ "France » Coupe de France 2019/2020 » Final". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
- ^ "Arsenal and Saint-Étienne fail to reach William Saliba agreement". Onefootball. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- ^ Cohen, Sonny (25 July 2019). "Arsenal sign Madrid's Ceballos on loan and £27m St Etienne defender Saliba". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- ^ "Dani Ceballos and William Saliba sign for Arsenal". BBC Sport. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- ^ "Future captain? William Saliba given legendary Arsenal shirt number". 23 July 2020.
- ^ "New Arsenal shirt numbers: Saka 7, Saliba in for Elneny, Ceballos hint". London Evening Standard. 23 July 2020.
- ^ Byrom, David (25 August 2020). "Arsenal fans love what William Saliba did against MK Dons in 4-1 friendly win". Football.London. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
- ^ "Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (5-4 on pens): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secures Community Shield shootout win". Sky Sports. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
- ^ Wilson, Amie (31 August 2020). "William Saliba was feeling the cold ahead of Community Shield trophy lift". Football.London. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
- ^ "Report | Gillingham 1-1 Arsenal (2-4 pens)". www.gillinghamfootballclub.com. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
- ^ a b "William Saliba: Mikel Arteta judged me on two and a half matches at Arsenal". Sky Sports. 9 February 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
- ^ a b "William Saliba: Mikel Arteta regrets leaving Arsenal defender out of Europa League squad". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
- ^ "SALIBA LOANED TO LE GYM". OGC Nice. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
- ^ "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.
- ^ Orstein, David (15 July 2021). "Arsenal transfer news: William Saliba loan deal agreed with Marseille". The Athletic. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
- ^ "Payet inspires Marseille victory over Montpellier". Ligue1 COM. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
- ^ a b Small, Aidan (16 May 2022). "Saliba named UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
- ^ a b "L'équipe type de la saison de Ligue 1 aux trophées UNFP avec un trio d'attaque Terrier-Ben Yedder-Mbappé". L'Équipe (in French). 15 May 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
- ^ McNicholas, Jacob Whitehead and James. "William Saliba confirms return to Arsenal". The Athletic. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
- ^ "William Saliba Biography". Arsenal Official Website. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- ^ Bysouth, Alex (5 August 2022). "Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners look 'hungry' after win, says Mikel Arteta". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
- ^ Rogers, Jonathon (5 August 2022). "Report: Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
- ^ "Saliba shines as Arsenal start season in style". BBC Sport. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
- ^ "Saliba scores first goal as Arsenal win". BBC Sport. 20 August 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- ^ "Saliba's stunner tops our Goal of the Month poll!". Arsenal F.C. 15 September 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
- ^ "Benjamin Pavard (Bayern) forfait, William Saliba (OM) appelé en équipe de France". L'Équipe. 21 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
- ^ "William Saliba". UEFA Nations League. UEFA. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
- ^ "France Squad WC22". 18 December 2022.
- ^ "Tunisia 1–0 France". 2022 FIFA World Cup. FIFA. 30 November 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
- ^ "William Saliba". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- ^ Bisseck, Louis Paul (14 September 2021). "Marseille : Arsenal regrette déjà le départ de Saliba".
- ^ Jacob, Gary (25 July 2019). "William Saliba: The promising teenager coached by Kylian Mbappé's father". The Times. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^ William Saliba at Soccerway
- ^ "William Saliba". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- ^ "Mbappé suffers ankle injury as PSG beat 10-man Saint-Étienne to lift French Cup". The Guardian. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
- ^ Sanders, Emma (29 August 2020). "Arsenal 1–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- ^ McNulty, Phil (18 December 2022). "Argentina 3–3 France". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
- William Saliba at the Arsenal F.C. website
- William Saliba at the Premier League website
- William Saliba at the French Football Federation (in French)
- 2001 births
- Living people
- Sportspeople from Bondy
- French footballers
- France men's international footballers
- France men's under-21 international footballers
- France men's youth international footballers
- French sportspeople of Cameroonian descent
- French people of Lebanese descent
- Men's association football defenders
- AS Saint-Étienne players
- Arsenal F.C. players
- OGC Nice players
- Olympique de Marseille players
- Ligue 1 players
- Championnat National 2 players
- Championnat National 3 players
- Premier League players
- 2022 FIFA World Cup players
- French expatriate footballers
- Expatriate footballers in England
- French expatriate sportspeople in England
- Footballers from Seine-Saint-Denis