Two former Gunners have been in the football press this week talking about Arsenal and giving the under fire boss Arsene Wenger some advice on what he needs to do in the summer transfer window to make sure that we are serious title contenders next season.
Ray Parlour is no doubt what the Frenchman’s priority should be, a Metro report has revealed, and it will not surprise many Arsenal fans to hear that it is a replacement for Wenger’s misfiring countryman Olivier Giroud. Parlour was not too hard on our big centre forward and actually handed him some praise, but he feels that Arsenal do need a step up in quality if we are to challenge for the bog trophy goals of the Premier League and Champions League, and the former Arsenal midfielder has one player in particular in mind.
Parlour said, ‘Robert Lewandowski, if they can get him.
‘Someone of that calibre.
‘Ideally you want players that are 25 or 26 but sometimes you don’t get opportunities for that.
‘I just think they’re lacking a top quality striker.
‘He’s done well, Olivier Giroud, but is he good enough for the Champions League and Premier League?’
Another opinion came from our former striker Charlie Nicholas who, while he agreed that a top class striker would be a big help, told Sky Sports that he thought it was the other end of the pitch that was a bigger problem for Arsenal and that Wenger really needs to bring in a top class centre back to replace Per Mertesacker.
He said, “I accept over the last two months that the central striker area has been a massive problem, but there’s been a problem from day one and that’s at centre-back.
“There’s the soft excuse that Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott have all had their injury problems, but for me the biggest issue exists at the back.
“There’s been so many games where they’ve been in control then boom, there’s a weak defensive decision and then all of the sudden they’re over the place and the panic sets in.
“It’s just not been solid at all and in my opinion Arsenal have not had a proper defence in five or six seasons.
“When Arsene Wenger starts planning for next season, if he is there, which I think he will be, I would rather he addressed the defensive issues than bought a striker.
“If I had a position to buy right now and a choice between a centre-forward and Raphael Varane, my priority would be Varane.
“It needs to be a leader but one of significance on the pitch, not like Per Mertesacker saying the right things in front of the camera 30 minutes before the game. Leadership isn’t chit chat, it’s being willing to sacrifice yourself.
“Arsenal create chances and I know it’s a problem not taking them but they tend to take enough to win games. What they don’t do is win games 1-0 like Leicester have been doing.
“The hardest position to fill is the centre-forward but you’ve got to sort the basics first and I don’t think it needs to be a superstar striker because of the chances they create. Giroud has a decent scoring record for the club and he’s not a superstar.
“If they get Gonzalo Higuain in for say £50m and keep conceding two or three goals then they still won’t win anything.”
It might seem unlikely but what if Arsenal did complete the transfers of Lewandowski and Varane this summer? Would those two or another top class striker and centre back turn Arsenal into champions or do the problems run deeper than that?