“Gunners need 3 players for a new backbone”
Ex-Arsenal forward Alan Smith says the Gunners need a new backbone – a centre-back, a midfielder and a forward in the summer transfer window.
Mikel Arteta’s Prem leader is now just two points clear of Manchester City, who have two games in hand after Etihad outclassed Arsenal 4-1 last night.
West Ham skipper Declan Rice is expected to be Arteta’s priority target.
And Smith told Sky Sports: “I think you’re probably looking through the heart of the team, through the centre.
“We obviously saw how they suffered without Wiliam Saliba and the drop was really quite drastic, no manager would want to see that so they miss the Frenchman.
“Thomas Partey has been a bit of a back and forth this season, when Xhaka wasn’t playing they certainly missed him.
“Arsenal’s central midfield has attracted a lot of attention, Declan Rice may come. This will be a saga in the summer. Where will the West Ham midfielder end up looking set to leave the Hammers?
“Possibly another striker to compete with Jesus, they have Eddie Nketiah but I think the middle half and central midfielder will start the games.
“[Jakub] Kiwior, the defender who came in January could develop into a very good player, that might be a bit premature because they bought one in Kiwior but Mikel Arteta didn’t feel ready and Rob Holding got the call.