Martin Keown questions Arsenal’s decision on William Saliba

Arsenal signed William Saliba from Saint Etienne last season because they believed that the defender was good enough to play for them.

However, they allowed him to remain with the French side for another season, and continue his development.

Despite struggling with injuries this season, the Frenchman was an important player for Saint Etienne and he even helped them reached the final of a French Cup before their season was cancelled.

He has gained more experience at the French side like Arsenal wanted, however, the Gunners have struggled at the back this season and they could have made use of his talents to solve some of their defensive problems, this is the view of Martin Keown.

The former Arsenal star claimed that if he was top class as they claim, why did they send him back on loan when there are defensive jobs to be done at the Emirates.

“There’s an awful lot of work to be done in there [defence],” he told talkSPORT as quoted in the Mirror, “There was the defender from Saint-Etienne William Saliba who they paid £27 million for but was loaned back again.

“I couldn’t quite work that out because now I’m being told he’s world-class.

“Never mind if he’s world-class, if he was Premier League class it would have been good enough because that was an area of concern.”

Tags Martin Keown William Saliba


  1. John Ibrahim says:

    hes very talented but hes only 19yo

    lacks game experience

    experience, improvement and knowledge can only be gained by playing regularly

  2. Shortboygooner says:

    They didnt send him back by choice. His club wouldnt sell unless that was part of the agreement. They done the same to chelsea back when they brought hurt zumba. Savy bit of business to get him cheaper. Meanwhile you sign david luiz for a year

    1. Drayton says:

      Exactly. If you dig a little deeper than these “so-called journalists/ex-players” are willing to go, you’ll find that St Etienne were in a bind w letting their best CB go while knowing they might struggle this year to avoid relegation. Buying him last summer was never an option.

      And while I do have respect for Martin Keown and his opinions, this just sounds like, “Let’s drub up something to keep us relevant”. Typical media here. Great signing from the many videos I’ve watched.

  3. CorporateMan says:

    There is also an important advantage in signing the young man last year before he was 18.
    That would qualify him as “home-grown” in the Arsenal squad under PL regulations

  4. jon fox says:

    Keown ignores, by his own rather odd choice, that the deal struck was not what Arsenal wanted but was the best they could get whilestill obtaining SALIBA for the next season. An unfair opinion and knowingly so too IMO. Which is disappointing of Keown!

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