William Saliba helped OGC Nice keep the first clean sheet of his loan spell with an encouraging performance on Saturday away to Lens.

William Saliba kicks the ball for OGC Nice against Lens on 23/01/2021. (Photo by Federico Pestellini / Panoramic)
William Saliba kicks the ball for OGC Nice against Lens on 23/01/2021. (Photo by Federico Pestellini / Panoramic)

On-loan Arsenal defender William Saliba already had a couple of positive performances under his belt before this weekend, but OGC Nice are struggling as a whole and he was yet to record a win with the side in three attempts.

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Fortunately, that changed on Saturday. Nice kept a clean sheet against RC Lens and won the match 1-0, with Saliba playing a key role.

By the stats, Saliba made five clearances, blocked one shot, and made one interception, whilst winning two of his three aerial duels. His work on the ball was even better, completing 90% of his passes and 100% of his five long balls.

L’Equipe wrote that he “guides and instructs the defence, giving the impression he’s been there a long time. He’s just arrived but has already shown he’s the boss of the defence”.

The win was Nice’s first in six games, finally arresting their worrying slide down the table. It was particularly encouraging away to one of the top-half teams, but it’s only a start. Saliba needs to help them keep it going in the coming weeks.

Next up is a very interesting one, as the centre-back faces off against his old club Saint-Etienne. The fixture is scheduled for Sunday 31st January at 12:00 GMT.