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Keown welcomes the prospect of Philippe Coutinho joining the club

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has said that he would welcome the prospect of Philippe Coutinho joining the Gunners from Barcelona, although the possibility remains far-fetched at the present point of time. The Brazil international has struggled to impress during the past 18 months with the Blaugrana and he has recently been touted to make a return to the Premier League, where he made a name for himself with Liverpool.

In a report covered by The Mirror, Keown praised the qualities of the former Reds star and stated that he has been surprised with the attacker’s difficulty in adapting to the Spanish league. He added that the Gunners don’t seem to hold much of a chance of pursuing him, though he would prove a quality performer under manager Unai Emery.

He told: “It’s a shame to think that it is far-fetched when they could have been real possibilities. I would love to see him at Arsenal without a doubt, he is a great talent who has lost his way a bit but I think it is too much to hope for that he ends up at Arsenal. He’s a top quality player, the way he breaks from deep-lying midfield positions, his shooting ability – it’s a mystery why it hasn’t gone well for him at Barcelona. It would be a very exciting signing.”

Coutinho was widely touted to make a temporary move to Arsenal earlier this month, but the same has been refuted by Emery during an interview with Cadena Ser. As such, there does not seem the desperate to pursue the former Internacional graduate and the focus may rather lie on bolstering the heart of the backline before the transfer deadline. Juventus’ Daniele Rugani and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano have been earmarked as probable candidates to sort the central defensive concern.