Martin Keown reacts to reports of Arsenal closing in on Brazilian attacker

Martin Keown explains why he thinks Willian would be a better signing for Arsenal than Philippe Coutinho

Transfer Agent
By Transfer Agent
Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown believes that Willian would be a “safer bet” than Philippe Coutinho for Arsenal in the summer transfer window.

The north London side have been strongly linked with a bid to sign Willian from Chelsea FC in recent days following his failure to agree a new contract at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in signing Coutinho from FC Barcelona this summer following reports linking him with a move away from Camp Nou.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to wrap up a deal to sign Willian this summer as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his squad ahead of his first full season in charge at the club.

Former Arsenal defender Keown feels that Willian, 31, would be an excellent signing for the Gunners this summer ahead of former Liverpool FC star Coutinho.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Keown said: “Coutinho has been linked with virtually everybody and seems, if I am honest, a bit unsettled.

“I think Willian is a safer bet. He’s in the capital, he knows the Premier League very well and he’s a top performer. I think it’s a huge loss for Chelsea.

“I think that’s a fantastic bit of business. I have always been a real admirer of Willian.

“When I saw what he has been doing this year at Chelsea with his free-kicks and penalties, he’s so reliable.

“He has had his misfortunes with [Eden] Hazard being there. Sometimes he has had to play second-fiddle. Now he is fighting for a place with [Christian] Pulisic.

“I know there is a discussion over two or three years [contract], but I think he would be a really good acquisition for Arsenal.

“He comes in with a wealth of experience and I like his work ethic.

“He is someone who will always give you 100 per cent and the right type of player to go into what is a really young Arsenal dressing room.”

Willian enjoyed a strong season with Chelsea FC this term, with the Brazilian attacker having scored nine goals and made seven assists in 36 Premier League games for the Blues.

Arsenal booked their place in the Europa League for next season after having beaten Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final at Wembley at the start of the month.

The Gunners ended up in eighth place in the Premier League table under Arteta this term.

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