Gunners hero Keown opens up and officially sends Arsenal message about £30 million summer Saliba arrival
Arsenal legend Martin Keown has come out and criticised the decision not to bring William Saliba to the club last summer.
Breaking into Saint-Etienne’s first-team last season, Saliba had an outstanding debut season in France and caught the attentions of the Premier League’s elite with his performances, with reports both Manchester United and Tottenham were keen on a transfer deal.
Ex- Gunners boss Unai Emery was keeping close tabs on Saliba’s progress transfer speculation, and in the end the Gunners boss decided that he had seen enough to spend close to £30 million on the young defender, as he looked to improve his squad in a number of areas on the pitch.
However, it had been claimed that he was told to stay for another season as he was simply not ready to make the move to Arsenal this year, meaning that fans will not get to see their next signing until next season.
Despite struggling with injuries this season, the Frenchman was an important player for Saint Etienne and he even helped them reached the final of a French Cup before their season was cancelled.
And according to legend Martin Keown, Arsenal could have used his talents at the back this season, with the former Arsenal star claiming that if he was top class as they claim, why did they not bring him to the Emirates last summer?
“There’s an awful lot of work to be done in there [defence],” he told talkSPORT as quoted in the Mirror, “There was the defender from Saint-Etienne William Saliba who they paid £27 million for but was loaned back again.
“I couldn’t quite work that out because now I’m being told he’s world-class.
“Never mind if he’s world-class, if he was Premier League class it would have been good enough because that was an area of concern.”
Saliba has put in some very solid performances over the past few months and it is easy to see why Arsenal were so keen to wrap up a deal. But is he really ready to walk into this Arsenal side and make a big impact?
He is still a teenager that has alot of learning to do, he will have to deal with alot of pressure when he arrives at Arsenal.