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Arsenal loanee Saliba bags award following first month with Nice, but Mustafi’s Schalke stint is off to a rough start

Arsenal loanee Saliba bags award following first month with Nice, but Mustafi’s Schalke stint is off to a rough start

Whilst Arsenal loanee William Saliba continues to impress in France, Shkodran Mustafi’s start to life back in his home country has gotten off to an altogether rocky start.

Nice switch

The major transfer news at the Emirates early last month of course came in the form of confirmation that Saliba had departed north London for the 2nd-half of the campaign.

In a post across the club’s social media platforms, Arsenal announced that their out-of-favour young stopper had returned to his home country with OGC Nice, on a 6-month loan:

This of course came with Saliba having failed to garner a single first-team appearance under Mikel Arteta over the opening half of the campaign.

POTM

Despite his struggles for game-time at the Emirates, though, Saliba has since been plugged directly into the backline of his new club.

The 19-year-old has earned starts in all of Nice’s last 6 outings, helping the club to a solitary clean sheet along the way.

And though Les Aiglons, all told, have endured a largely hit-and-miss spell of form over the course of this stretch, Saliba, for the most part, has impressed.

Arsenal loanee Saliba bags award following first month with Nice, but Mustafi’s Schalke stint is off to a rough start

Nice’s French defender William Saliba (L) is challenged by Metz’s French forward Thierry Ambrose during the French L1 football match between Football Club de Metz and OGC Nice at the Saint-Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-Les-Metz, eastern France on January 9, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The young Frenchman has continued to showcase flashes of his unquestionable potential, at the heart of a less than solid Nice backline.

And, as evidenced this weekend, such talents have certainly not gone unappreciated on the part of his loan club’s fanbase.

This comes amid confirmation this afternoon that Saliba has been voted as Nice’s Player of the Month for January, on the back of his first month with the Ligue 1 outfit:

Mustafi’s Schalke struggling

Whilst Saliba continues to go about getting his career back on track, however, as outlined above, another of Arsenal’s ex stars has today gotten his start to life away from the Emirates off to an altogether underwhelming start.

The player in question? Shkodran Mustafi.

German stopper Mustafi was one of a number of defenders to depart north London last month, linking up with Schalke in his home country.

Somewhat surprisingly, the 28-year-old, despite having not taken to the pitch for some time, was then handed his debut from the off on Saturday, as the Bundesliga basement dwellers played host to RB Leipzig.

To this point, however, the clash has proven one to forget for the former Arsenal man, with Schalke staring yet another defeat in the face, and Mustafi having been responsible for the concession of Die Knappen’s first of the day:

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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1 Manchester City FC 32 44 74
2 Manchester United FC 31 27 63
3 Leicester City FC 31 18 56
4 West Ham United FC 31 12 55
5 Chelsea FC 31 19 54
6 Liverpool FC 31 16 52
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 31 17 49
8 Everton FC 30 3 48
9 Arsenal FC 31 8 45
10 Leeds United 31 0 45
11 Aston Villa FC 30 10 44
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 31 -10 38
13 Crystal Palace FC 31 -19 38
14 Southampton FC 31 -17 36
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 31 -5 33
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17 Newcastle United FC 31 -19 32
18 Fulham FC 32 -18 26
19 West Bromwich Albion 31 -31 24
20 Sheffield United FC 31 -38 14
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Topscorers
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Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 19
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Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 16
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 14
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 14
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 9
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
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Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 9
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 8