loading...

08 August 2020 22:37

Premier League Leicester City F.C. Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Martin Keown gives three reasons why Arsenal are making correct Philippe Coutinho decision

Martin Keown reckons Arsenal have made the right decision in prioritising Willian over Philippe Coutinho - and has provided three reasons for why he believes this. The Gunners are looking to bolster their side this summer ahead of the new season, where they will be hoping to mount a serious top-four challenge. The club has been linked with both Coutinho and Willian in recent weeks, but Mirror Sport understands Arsenal have opted to sign only the latter as soon as his contract at Chelsea expires at the end of the month. And Keown believes this is sensible because Willian knows the Premier League, he doesn't need to relocate, and he's a top player on his day. "Coutinho has been linked with virtually everybody and seems, if I am honest, a bit unsettled," Keown told Mirror Sport.

"He is someone who will always give you 100 per cent and the right type of player to go into what is a really young Arsenal dressing room." * Former England and Arsenal defender Martin Keown paid a surprise visit to Newhaven McDonald's to celebrate their 2020 McDonald's & FA Grassroots Football Award win. Arsenal are right to sign Willian but ignore a deal for Philippe Coutinho because the Chelsea winger is a "safer bet" believes club legend Martin Keown. Reports have indicated that despite interest in Coutinho, the cash-strapped Gunners will only sign Willian rather than add both of the pair to their squad. Willian is expected to become an Arsenal player imminently having agreed a three-year deal to swap Stamford Bridge for the Emirates. The Brazilian will play no part for Chelsea in their Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich tonight (8pm) having been left out of the travelling 23-man squad.

It's thought Willian, who turns 32 tomorrow, will sign a deal worth £100,000 a week in basic salary with performance-related bonuses potentially improving his pay. Martin Keown gave a trio of curious reasons why Arsenal were seemingly correct to ditch their interest in ex-Liverpool favourite Coutinho for Willian. The Gunners are in pole position to land impending free agent Willian once his contract expires at Chelsea. With the lure of a three-year contract seemingly the pivotal factor behind Willian's expected switch to Arsenal, The Gunners have shown faith that he will be able to make an extended impact in North London. Now, speaking with The Mirror, Gunners legend Keown has outlined three reasons why his former side have chosen the right path to ignore Coutinho – though two of them seem to be a stretch.

While Coutinho has failed to live up to live up to his lofty expectations since his Liverpool departure, the 27-year-old has still showed glimpses of his mercurial talents that typified his rise to stardom in his five-year stay in the Premier League. Nevertheless, Keown is determined Arsenal have taken the right path in pursuing Willian, adding: "I think that's a fantastic bit of business. "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 is someone who will always give you 100 per cent and the right type of player to go into what is a really young Arsenal dressing room." Sign up to FREE email alerts from Liverpool.com - The best LFC opinion Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email One of Joorabchian's many clients is Philippe Coutinho, and the former Liverpool man has been linked with a move to the Emirates this summer as the club attempt to bridge the enormous chasm that has opened between them and Jurgen Klopp's side. Coutinho joined Barcelona in January 2018; the La Liga giants committed to a club-record deal reportedly worth up €160 million in order to lure him away from Anfield.

But he struggled to earn a regular place in the Barcelona first-team and has spent this past season on loan in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. The obvious question is, could that new home be Arsenal, and why would the Gunners want to sign him? Last season saw Arsenal, once the most aesthetically pleasing side in the top flight, finish 12th in the Premier League when it came to Big Chances created, below the likes of Burnley and West Ham United. In 152 Premier League games for Liverpool, Coutinho managed 37 assists. Last season for Bayern, Coutinho had the eighth-best progressive pass accuracy in the league.

Many Arsenal fans will question why Arteta cannot simply use Mesut Ozil, but the case for Coutinho makes more sense when you acknowledge the differences between the pair. Despite stating publicly that he prefers the number 10 role, Coutinho spent more of his Liverpool career playing wide on the left and driving inside, often to devastating effect. In Arteta's preferred systems Coutinho could satisfy several different roles, and that versatility will be key for the club as they deal with a restricted budget while also trying to close the gap between the teams at the top. While fans of the Gunners would be more excited by the signing of the Coutinho that left Liverpool rather than the one struggling at Barcelona, they should not give up all hope. The Express claim that Arsenal want to sign Willian as well as Philippe Coutinho this summer, two players who were also said to be on Tottenham's radar. Willian had been linked with Tottenham over the past few months, with the North Londoners at one point even being established as the favourites to sign him (Mundo Deportivo). The Gunners are expected to complete a deal for the 31-year-old soon and it is said that they will then shift their focus to getting Coutinho. The former Liverpool midfielder is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League and it is claimed that Mikel Arteta's side will make a decision on whether they can afford his wages once they have the Willian deal agreed. The report asserts that Barcelona would prefer any loan move for Coutinho to come with an obligation to buy him next summer.