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‘Finally free’ – Leicester’s Wesley Fofana hints at Saliba-Arsenal problems following loan exit

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: William Saliba of Arsenal U21 walks off from pitch after receiving red card during the EFL Trophy match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 8, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Nice switch

The major transfer news in England this evening 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 has returned to his home country with OGC Nice, on a 6-month loan:

Accompanying the Gunners’ announcement, meanwhile, was a statement on the part of technical director Edu, who appeared keen to reiterate that Saliba has a long-term future at the Emirates:

‘William Saliba is a player with a huge amount of talent and potential. We’re confident he will have a great career with us but we must remember that he is still only 19 years old and has a lot of time ahead of him.’

‘So together with William, we have decided that spending the rest of the season on loan with Nice is the best way for him to develop.’

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

‘Free’

As outlined above, however, if the latest social media activity on the part of Wesley Fofana is anything to go by, then the relationship between Saliba and Arsenal may not be quite as rosy as Edu this evening attempted to make it out to be.

Fofana, who has shone over the early months of his time in the Premier League with Leicester City, is known to be a close friend of the 19-year-old, with the pair having developed alongside one another at Saint-Etienne.

As such, it feels safe to assume that Fofana and Saliba kept in touch regarding their respective early experiences of English football.

In turn, it will no doubt come as a concern for Arsenal to hear of the Foxes standout inferring that his compatriot was essentially imprisoned in north London.

In a post on his official Instagram account, as showcased below, Fofana reacted to Saliba’s Emirates exit with the simple claim: ‘He is finally free’:

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Burnley vs Arsenal Full time result
Burnley
9/2
Draw
3/1
Arsenal
8/13
Burnley vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score Yes No
Burnley 17/2 7/1
Arsenal 11/4
Draw 9/2 10/1
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Burnley
Arsenal
Burnley vs Arsenal Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang13/8 13/8 10/11
Alexandre Lacazette15/8 15/8 1/1
Eddie Nketiah21/10 21/10 6/5
Folarin Balogun11/4 11/4 8/5
Nicolas Pepe11/4 11/4 8/5

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 27 39 65
2 Manchester United FC 27 21 51
3 Leicester City FC 27 15 50
4 Chelsea FC 27 17 47
5 Everton FC 26 6 46
6 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
7 Liverpool FC 27 12 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 15 42
9 Aston Villa FC 25 11 39
10 Arsenal FC 26 7 37
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 27 -9 34
13 Crystal Palace FC 27 -14 34
14 Southampton FC 26 -13 30
15 Burnley FC 27 -16 29
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
18 Fulham FC 27 -12 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 27 -36 17
20 Sheffield United FC 27 -27 14
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 7