Martin Keown expects Mikel Arteta to banish Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and slams Willian

Martin Keown has slammed Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Willian
Martin Keown has slammed Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Willian (Picture: YouTube / Getty)

Martin Keown admits he will be ‘surprised’ if Mikel Arteta gives Granit Xhaka the chance to revive his career at Arsenal and has slammed Gunners summer signing Willian.

Xhaka was sent off for grabbing the throat of Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood during Sunday’s Premier League defeat at the Emirates.

The Switzerland international will now miss Arsenal’s next three matches but Keown has suggested his exile could be extended by Arteta.

Arteta was clearly furious by Xhaka’s dismissed and said after the 1-0 defeat to Burnley than it was ‘worse’ that Nicolas Pepe’s recent red card.

Xhaka has made close to 200 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club in 2016 but Keown will be ‘surprised’ if Arteta relies on him again.

He told MailSport: ‘Of course, Granit Xhaka will be under fire after Sunday’s sending-off against Burnley, and rightly so.

‘He just does not get around the pitch quickly enough. He has made some huge mistakes – so many in fact you would be surprised if there is a way back under Arteta.

‘If the experienced players cannot do it, it is time to trust a youngster in the heart of midfield.

‘Ainsley Maitland-Niles is an England player and he was superb in that position against Rapid Vienna. He has great pace, is good in possession and can defend.’

Arsenal legend Keown has also slammed Gunners summer signing Willian, who is yet to score for his new club following a move from London rivals Chelsea.

‘I admired Willian at Chelsea but it is like he is on holiday at Arsenal,’ Keown added.

‘The first thing I would do is play him on the left where he was a success at Chelsea. And play Bukayo Saka on the right where he looks more effective.’

Arsenal are currently 15th in the Premier League table – just five points above the relegation zone – and face in-form Southampton on Wednesday night.

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