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Arsenal loanee William Saliba wins Nice Player of the Month for January

Arsenal loanee William Saliba has been catching the eye at Nice to the extent that he has won the club’s Player of the Month award for January.

The 19-year-old moved to the Ligue 1 side on loan on 4 January after failing to break into the Gunners first team under Mikel Arteta.

He has been an instant hit at his new club, already making six Ligue 1 starts and won the fans’ vote for Player of the Month comfortably.

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The teenager got 44 per cent of the vote, ahead of Flavius Daniliuc on 22 per cent and Walter Benitez on 11 per cent.

The club website’s review of Saliba’s month read: ‘By his presence, his impact and his revival, he quickly brought what he had been recruited for: his way of defending with rigor and serenity.

At the heart of a complicated period (4 defeats and 1 victory in January) , his qualities were not enough to put the group back on the right track, but they embody a “positive axis on which to build” as [manager] Adrian Ursea likes to stress.’

Saliba will be pleased to be enjoying the chance at first team football at Nice after feeling frustrated to yet be given his debut at Arsenal.

Arsenal loanee William Saliba wins Nice Player of the Month for January

Arsenal loanee William Saliba wins Nice Player of the Month for January

‘My first six months were difficult, because I was coming from six months where I wasn’t able to train because I was at home and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play,’ said Saliba in January.

‘I arrived there as they were finishing the league season, so I was training alone. As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.

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‘The coach immediately told me that I was not ready. I would have at least liked to have a chance to rediscover my rhythm. But this is football, it’s like that.’

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