William Saliba’s message to Emile Smith Rowe speaks volumes about on-loan Arsenal star
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William Saliba has shown his own troubles at Arsenal will not get in the way of his feelings towards his Gunners teammates after he sent a classy message to Emile Smith Rowe.
The French defender has been shipped out on loan to Nice after failing to break into the Arsenal side this season.
But despite being given a fresh start, things haven't quite gone according to plan for the 19-year-old back in his homeland thus far.
Meanwhile Arsenal are going from strength to strengh, with Smith Rowe playing a key role in their fourth consecutive win on Saturday.
And Saliba wasted no time in congratulating the midfielder following his goal in the FA Cup victory over Newcastle.
Saliba commented on Smith Rowe's Instagram post after Saturday's win
(Image: emilesmithrowe /Instagram)
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Smith Rowe posted an image of him being mobbed by teammates after his extra-time strike, along with the caption: "No better feeling!"
Among those to comment was Saliba, who wrote: "So proud of you my man."
It says a lot about Saliba's character that he is still urging on his fellow Arsenal youngsters from afar despite his own struggles.
He has only made two appearances for Nice so far in his loan spell, but was booked on his debut before making an error in the draw with Metz on Saturday.
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The teenager lost his man in the build-up to Metz's late equaliser, and his lapse in concentration comes just days after his defiant response to being back in France.
"I have played in Ligue 1, even though I am young, I am here to be the boss," Saliba said.
With a number of other Arsenal academy stars gaining minutes at the weekend, it may have come as a tough pill to swallow for Saliba that his Gunners career has stalled.
He revealed Arteta had told him he "wasn't ready" to play a role in Arsenal's senior side just yet, and admitted he would "see what happens" at the end of the season.
Should Saliba be given a chance at Arsenal? Have your say below.
William Saliba in action for Nice against Metz forward Thierry Ambrose
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
And Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has since hinted he would be keen to sign Saliba permanently.
"Let’s let him rediscover enjoying being on the pitch, playing," Rivere said.
"At the end of the 6 months, we’ll see – today he’s owned by a club called Arsenal. Everyone in June will come together and decide.
"A door is always open in life. When you have a situation where parties can talk, the doors are open. We are not there yet."