Martin Keown sends message to Arsenal about ‘quality central defender’

The Arsenal legend believes Arsene Wenger would be able to work with West Brom defender Jonny Evans

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Martin Keown has appeared to endorse Arsenal’s pursuit of West Brom defender Jonny Evans.

The Gunners are in the market to sign a centre-half given the north London side’s well-documented struggles at the back this season.

Shkodran Mustafi has struggled to justify his £35m price tag following a move to Arsenal from Valencia in the 2016 summer transfer window.

English starlets Calum Chambers and Rob Holding have proven inconsistent in the heart of the Arsenal defence when Wenger has given the duo a chance to shine.

Laurent Koscielny has also endured a drop in performance level and World Cup winner Per Mertesacker is a shadow of the player who arrived at The Emirates in 2011.

Arsenal have been linked with a move to sign Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans from West Brom in the January transfer window.

Evans spent eight seasons in the Manchester United first team before he moved to the Baggies during Louis van Gaal’s spell in charge at Old Trafford.

Former Arsenal defender Keown hailed Evans as a solid defender, but warned the Gunners that the former Manchester United defender isn’t world class.

“He is a quality central defender,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“I don’t think he is world class but there seems to be a shortage of quality experienced central defenders nowadays.

“I personally think Evans has played his best football for Northern Ireland. He is 30 but there is more to come with the right kind of manager.

“If he went to Arsenal, Wenger would work with him. He can play and pass, but this could be about him fully believing in himself.”

Arsenal have conceded 26 times in 22 games in the Premier League.

The Gunners lost 4-2 to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.

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