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Keown says “something’s not right” with Arsenal signing ahead of Tottenham test

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

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

Willian has yet to score for the Gunners since joining them on a free transfer from Chelsea in the summer, with several fans left criticising his performances.

Gunners legend Ian Wright has suggested that Arteta should pick Nelson over Willian against Spurs, and while Keown didn’t go as far as that he did acknowledge that the Brazilian may have to be jolted into action.

Nelson started and impressed against Rapid Vienna

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

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

“Something’s not right with Willian, so he puts Nelson in ahead of him and I think that’s right. That might get the best out of Willian in the future.

“He hasn’t scored himself since July. I think it was against Watford for Chelsea. We need to see the best from him.

Willian played for the final half hour in front of 2,000 fans

“He started the season okay but we haven’t seen an urgency in his play.

“Once you see a player like that get up to top speed – that’s the challenge from Arteta: to get the best out of Willian.”

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

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