Arsenal: Keown tells Arteta best player to replace Tierney at left-back ahead of Tavares, Xhaka

Arsenal legend, Martin Keown has urged the club’s manager, Mikel Arteta to play Bukaya Saka in the left-back position to make up for Kieran Tierney, rather than understudy Nuno Tavares and Granit Xhaka.

Recall that Tierney will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury and Tavares was expected to come in and deputize.

However, Tavares produced a poor display in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last Monday, with Gunners’ fans questioning his ability to provide cover.

And Keown believes Arteta should look beyond Tavares and Xhaka and utilize Saka in the left-back position.

“Well, he [Tavares] probably is not [good enough]. But if that was your boy out there, taken off after 25 minutes against [Nottingham] Forest.

“I would never have seen Wenger do that. He would have waited for the second half. This week he was taken off at half-time.

“We [Arsenal] have to find a solution to the left-back problem. I would like to see Saka go to left-back. I know that is radical, but I would rather see that than [Granit] Xhaka there, who will get exposed.

“It is about your best eleven. I think Saka can still do damage from left-back. Pepe would go to the right and Martinelli on the left. If you have got an issue with a player to such an extent that mistakes are being made down that side, then you can’t play him [Tavares].

“But I don’t think Xhaka is the answer. He certainly is not. They will be setting teams out to exploit that weakness. It won’t be long before Xhaka is off the pitch and Arsenal are down to ten men again. Play Saka there,” Keown told talkSPORT.

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