Arsenal have been linked with both Philippe Coutinho and Willian in the ongoing transfer window and Martin Keown believes they are right in prioritizing the Chelsea man over his compatriot.
Coutinho currently finds himself at crossroads, having failed to justify his mega-money move to Barcelona in January 2018 and faces an uncertain future, with neither the Catalans nor current employers Bayern Munich wanting him.
As such, a return to the Premier League has been mooted and the current FA Cup holders are one of the sides linked with a loan move for him.
However, the Gunners are reportedly set to sign just Willian and Keown – who spent 13 years at Arsenal in a highly decorated career – has praised his former side’s decision, giving reasons why he believes it is the right choice.
“Coutinho has been linked with virtually everybody and seems, if I am honest, a bit unsettled,” Keown told Mirror Sport.
“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.”
Speaking further, he said: “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 realible.
“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 per cent and the right type of player to go into what is a really young Arsenal dressing room.”
Philippe Coutinho is set to complete the Champions League campaign, as Bayern Munich look to conquer Europe, after which he would return to Barcelona.
For Willian, while his move to Arsenal is yet to be confirmed, multiple sources suggest that the transfer is close to completion and his manager has also weighed in on the topic, saying he would not be disappointed if he indeed leaves Stamford Bridge.