Martin Keown says ‘something is wrong’ with Arsenal signing ahead of Tottenham test

Martin Keown says Mikel Arteta may have provided Willian with much-needed inspiration for Arsenal by preferring Reiss Nelson for Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna.

Youth product Nelson started the game against the Austrians and finished 63 minutes before being replaced by Willian, who will still be considered the favorite to start in the Premier League against Tottenham on Sunday.

Willian has yet to score for the Gunners since joining them in a free transfer from Chelsea this summer, with several fans leaving to criticize his performance.

Gunner legend Ian Wright suggested Arteta should choose Nelson over Willian against Spurs, and while Keown didn’t go that far, he acknowledged that the Brazilian might need to be pushed into action.

Nelson started and impressed against Rapid Vienna
(Image: REUTERS)

“I love Nelson. I love his energy, ”Keown told BT Sport.

“You look at Willian. Willian is a better player but he’s not playing with the same enthusiasm at the moment.

“Something’s wrong with Willian, so he puts Nelson in front of him and I think it’s true. It might get the most out of Willian in the future.

“He hasn’t marked himself since July. I think it was against Watford for Chelsea. We have to see the best of him.

Willian performed for the last half hour in front of 2,000 fans
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

“He started the season well but we didn’t see an emergency in his game.

“Once you see a player like that take it to the next level – that’s Arteta’s challenge: getting the most out of Willian. ”

Arsenal beat the Austrian side 4-1 in front of 2,000 supporters in the Emirates, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pablo Mari, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe all finding the net in front of delighted home fans.

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