Arsenal legend ‘couldn’t quite work out’ why Saliba was loaned back to Saint-Etienne

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has spoken out about Gunners defender William Saliba, according to a report in the Express

Saliba was signed by Arsenal for a fee of £27m last summer and was immediately loaned out to Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne.

However, the defender managed just 12 Ligue 1 appearances this season after fracturing his metatarsal last November.

The French top-flight has since been cancelled with Paris Saint-Germain declared as champions and Saliba will now return to the Emirates this summer.

The Gunners have struggled defensively this season and according to Arsenal legend Martin Keown, Arteta needs to fix his defence before the start of next season.

Speaking about Saliba and Arsenal’s defensive woes to TalkSPORT, Keown said:

“There’s an awful lot of work to be done in [the defence], the guy, is it Saliba, who was on loan at Saint-Etienne who they paid £27million for.”

“I couldn’t quite work that out because I’m told now he’s coming in, he’s world-class, [and] he was loaned back again.”

“If he’s world-class, if he was just Premier League class it would have been good enough because that was an area of concern.”

According to recent reports, Arsenal could be without Brazilian star David Luiz with the club yet to offer the defender a new contract.

This would certainly mean that Saliba will be thrown straight into Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven and only time will tell if the young centre-back is up to the task in the Premier League come next season.

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