Martin Keown clams ‘bizarre’ Arsenal transfer decision

Martin Keown has slammed Arsenal’s decision to try and ship out William Saliba on loan, adding that he is ‘anxious’ to see him in action.

The Gunners signed the 19 year-old last summer in a deal which saw him see out one last year on loan with former side St Etienne.

Saliba enjoyed another impressive season in France, despite a couple of injury setbacks, before joining up with the Arsenal squad in July.

There was plenty of talk about Saliba coming in to fix our lacklustre defence of last season, but the club now looks ready to move out on another loan instead.

“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,” Keown told TalkSPORT.

“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 have moved to bring in Gabriel Magalhaes this summer, who already looks likely to play a key role in the heart of defence, and he may well have only been signed due to Saliba’s failure to convince Mikel Arteta that he was ready for a role.

Do we think Gabriel was always a target, or did Saliba convince Arteta that another defender was needed this summer?


Tags Martin Keown William Saliba


  1. I understand Arteta sees the players in training, but it’s still tough to believe. For example, Willock looks overwhelmed and contributes very little in the midfield, but he got chances.
    Saliba apparently is less productive that Willock, so he gets little to no chance and goes on loan? Sorry but it’s hard to believe that Willock offers more than Saliba would.

  2. Saliba is said to have suffered a huge personal loss recently. If true, then giving him time to settle in a slower pace is probably a good thing.

  3. I disagree.. Let us see him first.. He won’t be the first or the last teenager to suffer a loss.. That guy is good… If Arteta doesn’t like him let him say so.. I am. Not sold on us this personal issues

  4. Mmmn….it seems that a players personal off field problems are now to be considered when judging his/her performances on the field.

    At The Arsenal, that has always been the way, hasn’t it?

    This Saliba incident is really weird for me – he was reported to be one of the most sought after young CB’s when we signed him and the clamour for him to play in the French cup final was enormous.

    Perhaps the contract extension of Luiz has something to do with this, as it would seem a ridiculous thing to have given him that one year extension, if he wasn’t playing?

    If he’s homesick and has just lost his Mum, I could understand the empathy being shown if he was loaned back to that country, but I fail to see completely, what a move to any other English club would help him out in any way.

  5. @Ken1945 Saliba was planned to head back to his french club but the clubs could not sort out the details in time I heard. So that seem to have been the original plan. Agree that a move to an English club seem a bit odd then. I can only assume this is done in dialogue with the player himself. I doubt if Saliba himself felt he was fit to play for Arsenal there would be talk about him going out on a loan. And if Saliba agrees to a loan, perhaps he too feels that a slower start is best. But who knows, he could still remain with Arsenal.

    1. Yep, that’s what was reported TDO and it was said that The Arsenal messed up the paperwork.
      Not sure if that’s true or not, but whatever did happen, sending Saliba out to a English club makes no sense.
      Perhaps MA sees Holding as the better player currently and as it seems those players left out of the europa squad are deemed automatically to have no future at the club, have we seen the last of him, before he has even started?

      1. @Ken1945 Holding has been pretty decent in my opinion. So it would not be strange if Holding is prefered over Saliba right now. We know too little about what Salibas own thougths are.

        But I really hope we have not seen the last of Saliba. He is still only 19 years old and that is quite young for a centerback too. Has Arteta not spoken about not having too high expectations of Saliba?

  6. Certainly not an ideal situation and not one, I rather think that any of us fans saw coming a year ago. We had seemingly thought that, at long last, our two presumed quality CB’s of Saliba plus Gabriel would put thelong line of CB duds going back ages firmly in the past. But right now we still have last seasons “three clowns”( Sokratis, Mustafi and Luiz) on our books, one unwanted, one injured and one playing.

    THAT is a huge disappointment and speaking for myself I have spent a decade calling for Wengers head, ALMOST ENTIRELY BECAUSE HE COULD NOT OR WOULD NOT(OR A MIXTURE OF BOTH) FIX A BROKEN DEFENCE.

    We NOW have a manager who can and does actually coach defence , effectively too, but we still have, GABRIEL apart, not a decent CB at the club.

    I remain hopeful of SALIBA but that hope is now just a hope. A year ago, when we bought him, it was then an EXPECTATION , albeit to be delayed for a year back then.

    Far from ideal then and also a massive disappointment, since most of us had REALLY THOUGHT our defensive problems were almost over. Sigh!

  7. I think aclub acomodates many different coaches for reason to work on such problems why don’t they play their rol?

  8. The reason why we are reacting in such maner we waited for saliba ayear back and we are yearning to see him playing

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