• Transfers

Keown hails Arsenal choice to reject Coutinho for Willian

Arsenal, Coutinho, Willian
Arsenal, Coutinho, Willian
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Arsenal have made the right choice by turning down the chance of signing Philippe Coutinho in favor of bringing in Willian, according to Martin Keown.

Arsenal passed on the possibility of rescuing Coutinho from his misery at Barcelona after deciding to focus their attention on snatching Willian from Chelsea.

A couple of weeks ago, the Camp Nou side approached the Gunners with an idea of swapping the Brazilian forward for Matteo Guendouzi.

Although the proposition had initially been taken well by the Emirates outfit, they eventually opted for Willian as a gamble worth taking.

The parties seem to be closing in on a three-year contract agreement that will see the 31-year-old swap allegiances in London.

In the eyes of Martin Keown, Mikel Arteta has made the right decision. Based on multiple factors, Willian is a much more suitable option for Arsenal, according to the club legend.

“Coutinho has been linked with virtually everybody and seems, if I am honest, a bit unsettled,” Keown told Daily Mirror.

“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 percent and the right type of player to go into what is a really young Arsenal dressing room.”