Other youngsters in Ligue 1 should learn from what happened to William Saliba at Arsenal and Jean-Clair Todibo at Barcelona

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

“He judged me on two and half matches,” said William Saliba when asked about Mikel Arteta. “I would have liked him to play me more but he told me I wasn’t ready.” Saliba’s readiness to play for Arsenal is open to debate, but now he and the similarly talented but equally curtailed Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo are back in Ligue 1 with Nice, finally presented with the chance to realise their potential. Ligue 1 may have been the best place for both players all along.

Given his potential as a powerful, serene, technical defender, Saliba was unfortunate not to be given more gametime in London, especially considering the state of Arsenal’s defence. Saliba’s sense of rejection is understandable. However, having made only 36 appearances in senior football when he moved to Arsenal as a 19-year-old, his move away from France may have come too soon. Not that Saliba sees it that way. “When you feel ready you have to go,” he said. “I don’t think I left too early.”

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