Martin Keown issues warning to Arsenal fans about William Saliba
Martin Keown warns Arsenal fans not to expect too much from William Saliba next season
Martin Keown has warned Arsenal fans not to expect too much too soon from William Saliba next season.
The young defender is preparing for his first campaign at Arsenal after having completed his move to The Emirates from Saint-Etienne this summer in a deal that was agreed last year.
Saliba has joined up with his new Arsenal team-mates as he looks to help the Gunners bolster their options at the back ahead of their first full season under Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal’s problems at the back have been well-documented in recent seasons, with the Gunners having conceded 48 goals as they finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last term.
Saliba will be hoping to establish himself as a regular fixture in the Arsenal team in the coming months but Gunners legend Keown has warned against putting too much pressure on the 19-year-old defender.
Speaking in an interview quoted by the London Evening Standard, Keown said: “There definitely is [pressure on Saliba].
“It is one of those where I would have been happier if Arsenal had paid more money and brought him in straight at the start of last season.
“There have long-been questions over the Arsenal defence and Saliba was expensive, but he is also young and has not played that many professional games.
“It can’t be expected that he will walk straight into Arsenal, right into the team and be on it from the off.”
Saliba made 17 appearances in all competitions for Saint-Etienne last season.
Arsenal will play in the Europa League next season after they beat Chelsea FC to win the FA Cup following their eighth-placed finish in the Premier League table.