‘It’s bizarre’: Martin Keown questions Arsenal over William Saliba

Martin Keown admits he has been left confused by Arsenal's handling of William Saliba in recent weeks

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

Martin Keown has admitted that he has been left confused by Arsenal’s handling of defender William Saliba this season.

The Gunners concluded a deal to land Saliba from French side Saint-Etienne back in July 2019 but he was immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit for last season.

Saliba had been linked with a second loan deal at Saint-Etienne for this season, and he has also been touted as a possible target for Brentford on a temporary deal.

However, Mikel Arteta appears to now be keen to keep Saliba in with the Arsenal first team as a loan move has not materialised for the 19-year-old defender.

Former Arsenal star Keown has now admitted his surprise at the way the whole situation has been handled, but he is still excited about Saliba’s potential for the future.

Speaking in an interview with talkSPORT, as quoted by Metro, Keown said: “It’s bizarre. We’ve just not seen the kid.

“You want to see him to see how he performs say in the Championship to see if he’s good enough.

“I’m anxious to see. The feeling was that this was going to be the one. Gabriel has come in and been an outstanding signing.

“Maybe they feel he’s too young and want him to go out to pastures new. To then loan him out when there was a real problem there last season seems a real mystery.”

Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Saturday with a crunch clash against Manchester City.

The north London side currently find themselves in fourth place in the Premier League table after having won three and lost one of their opening four games in the top flight.

Arsenal are aiming to try and challenge for a top-four finish this season after having come eighth last term.

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