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Sagna: Arsenal playing it smart with Saliba

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna insists William Saliba will have time to make it with the Gunners.

Saliba is currently away on-loan with Nice.

The France U21 international defender signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019, but remained on-loan with formative club Saint Etienne that season. He was then brought to London for this term, but despite spending the first-half of the campaign with the Gunners, Saliba never managed to force his way into manager Mikel Arteta's plans - including Carling Cup action.

Saliba has since returned to Ligue 1 on-loan, where he joined Nice in January to the end of the season. And the young centre-half has since been outstanding for OCGN.

For Sagna, this all points to Saliba eventually proving himself good enough to be a first teamer for parent club Arsenal.

Sagna told Goal via Fotboll Transfers: "I am not surprised (that he has not played for Arsenal yet) because he went to the world's best league. Being good in France is completely different from proving yourself in the Premier League.

"But I still trust him, I think he is a good player and he can adapt to Arsenal because I have seen him play many times.

"He plays well in Nice and has probably been their best player. At that age, you have to play. He has great potential and in France, people know that. Loaning him is not a bad thing, it is not a punishment. For me, it is smart to send him (on loan) rather than him sitting on the bench or not even in the squad."

Sagna spent seven years with Arsenal, winning the 2014 FA Cup.

- updated March 31

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