William Saliba caught the eye with his performance for OGC Nice against PSG on Saturday, despite defeat to the reigning Ligue 1 champions.

William Saliba playing for OGC Nice against Paris Saint-Germain on 13th February 2021 (Photo via FEP / Panoramic)
William Saliba playing for OGC Nice against Paris Saint-Germain on 13th February 2021 (Photo via FEP / Panoramic)

Despite spending two seasons in senior football with Saint-Etienne, William Saliba had never played against Paris Saint-Germain before this week.

In his first season in senior football, Saliba was on the bench for both PSG clashes. Then, after becoming a starter in his second campaign, he picked up an unfortunately-timed injury that ruled him out of two further matches against the side.

There were still another two chances to face PSG that season, but the early cancellation of Ligue 1 due to the pandemic meant the first one was called off, and Arsenal and Saint-Etienne couldn’t reach an agreement for the second (the cup final).

As a result, Saliba got his first chance to face PSG on the seventh attempt when he made the starting lineup with OGC Nice on Saturday.

By all accounts, it was a solid individual performance, even though PSG ended the game 2-1 winners.

Saliba made two clearances, one shot-block, three interceptions, and a tackle without being dribbled past. He won all three of his individual duels and didn’t make a foul across the 90 minutes. He also completed 92% of his passes and five of seven long balls.

The 19-year-old didn’t seem to lack in confidence, showing good composure under pressure.

It wasn’t a perfect performance, as he perhaps could have anticipated the header back across the box for PSG’s winning goal. But those are the situations you learn from as a teenager facing a top club. On the whole, Saliba will be happy with his display.

Previous articleArsenal fans’ brutal comments when Willian replaced Smith Rowe
Next articleArsenal Women international call-ups
Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.