William Saliba has claimed he is ready to “boss” Ligue 1 following his loan move from Arsenal to Nice.
The 19-year-old French defender failed to make a single appearance for the Gunners this season and has returned to his native country until the end of the campaign.
He made his debut on Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat to Brest, and is likely to be given far more opportunities to shine than he was at the Emirates.
And speaking at his official unveiling, Saliba sent a defiant message to Arteta and co.
“I am a young player, but for me I can bring my young experience,” he said.
“I have played in Ligue 1, even though I am young, I am here to be the boss.
“I have come to run the defence and I intend to give my all and I hope that we will be better defensively in the matches to come.”
Saliba also opened up on his tricky time at Arsenal so far, and seems determined to put it right.
“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 (pandemic), and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play,” he added.
“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.
“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.”
Saliba should next be in action on Saturday when Nice travel to Metz and may be in line to make his home debut the following Sunday when they host Bordeaux.