There is plenty of expectation that William Saliba will get a chance to prove himself at Arsenal next season, but you could’ve said the same going into last summer.
He was clearly signed as a project but he was expected to feature in the first team pretty quickly, while he ended up missing out on matchday squads and being registered altogether.
Half of his season was essentially wasted playing U23 football but he was given a chance to go back to France and play with Nice, and he’s certainly shown enough in that time to suggest that he deserves a chance.
The departure of David Luiz only increases the likelihood of him getting an opportunity in pre-season, while these comments from the Nice President suggest they have looked at extending his loan but Arsenal weren’t keen:
OGC Nice President Rivère on William Saliba: “If we could extend him by a year, we’d do that gladly. But he belongs to Arsenal, we don’t have control.” (N-M)
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 28, 2021
Perhaps there’s a chance that they want to use him in a swap deal or even sell him to raise funds in a giant clearout, but the most likely scenario sees him linking up with the first-team squad for preseason as an absolute minimum.