Do Arsenal need to be on the hunt for a new centre-back?

Arsenal’s center-back position is one that could need to be addressed. When Emmanuel Petit recently claimed that Arsenal defenders William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes were playing averagely, some didn’t take him seriously.

Now, days after Petit’s claims, another Arsenal legend, Alan Smith, has come out to expose the concerns he has about Arsenal’s defense. Smith has called out Gabriel as a loophole in Arsenal’s defense, and he feels he fails Arteta in big games.

“Gabriel would be a concern for Arteta in the future,” said Smith on BestGamblingsites (via MSN)

“He can be so emotional on these occasions, and that can affect his game. If you look at Saliba, you hardly notice him because he’s so calm.

“He does the simple things really effectively. Whereas Gabriel catches the eye for a number of reasons and I think it’s something Arteta will consider if he can rely on him going into these big games.

“That’s an issue for Arsenal, I think.”

After these claims, one can imagine that Jakub Kiwior could be the solution going forward, but Smith thinks it’s too early to trust Kiwior with Arsenal’s defense. “To incorporate Kiwior on the bench at the moment would be a big call, as he has been getting used to the first-team environment.

“Unfortunately, I don’t believe Rob Holding is the solution; I don’t believe he is at the required level.”

Interestingly, Smith believes Arsenal could do with another center-back signing, claiming, “We’ve been speaking for a long time about bringing in a striker and a central midfielder. But I think perhaps center-back is another area to focus on.”

Does any of Smith’s claims make sense, and do you see Arsenal adding another center-back to their squad months after getting Kiwior?

Daniel O


Tags Gabriel


  1. No need everyone gets a bad day in office don’t forget he played against chelsea away and scored the only goal and spurs away all cleansheets he contributed in fulham comeback at Emirates though he was at fault for mitrovic goal but all in all he has been in a defence which is second in conceding the lowest goals and his team is leading the table.

    1. These guys have done fantastically well this season. Not forgetting they are not even up to 24 yrs of age. Arsenal have had the fewest starting lineup change than any other team in the Premier league this season. The Premier league is a marathon league so fatigue will inevitably clip in. Besides their performance at their very young age is already great and there are much rooms for improvement.

    1. Trusty has been playing very well. Big part of their squad, the manager and their fans love the guy.

      I’m hoping he returns as our 4th CB next year, at least see him play in preseason before making a final decision.

      1. He has played every minute of every championship game for Birmingham and has been one of their best players

  2. Saliba was typically good yesterday though it appeared both Villa goals had to do with his wing.

    Was just an observation…

  3. For me Gab is not that worse,he is a good player and he has been performing, maybe he needs some rest after playing a lot of games,In football there are seasons where you will perform and not perform,The only solution when player are going through defficults we should talk to them politely, infact the if we have noticed that then we should definitely defend as a team Not as Gabi,team working will lift even those who are underperform at a particular time.Also bringing in new face is a solution too but this will destroy a team or do Good.You will not get the person who will go in today and be better than him today.

  4. No , Arsenal need to go looking for another top class striker like Jesus etc as you can see the difference playing Eddie ,it’s night and day, hopefully arteta will play trossard upfront instead of Eddie, or someone from the wings like martinelli, we have a replacement but only temporary and even then they won’t use it.

  5. There is no doubt that Gabriel, as good as he is, has a weak spot, a complex issue….what about testing our new Polish recruit ?

  6. I don’t think we need new centre backs. though am not 100% sure I think we conceded a high percentage of goals without Partey than with him in the side. I’d rather we get a proper DM to rotate with Partey and I believe defending is not only for centre backs. Some goals we conceded were the fault of the wing backs and some mistakes from the keeper. I think our centre backs have been exceptional

  7. Part of the trouble stems from tactic of deploying Zinchenko as an additional midfielder.His absence means Gabriel invariably fills a deep left position which widens the gap between him and Saliba.The Villa first goal which was inititiated when Zinchenko misplaced a pass ,saw Saliba isolated in a one for one situation against Watkins, who by the way would be a good buy.I thought Saliba did well to channel Watkins to his weaker side and I felt the positioning of Ramsdale was suspect for what was a good finish.Unless the inverted left back tactic is binned, I can see us continuing to lose soft goals as our centre backs are drawn out of position.

  8. “To incorporate Kiwior on the bench at the moment would be a big call, as he has been getting used to the first-team environment”…

    As I pointed out yesterday, Kiwior was *already* on the bench for yesterday’s match vs Villa.

    The big call would be seeing him step up to starting or being a replacement. But the guy’s already played for Poland at the WC – even if it’s a bit of a Mickey Mouse tournament in football terms, it’s still a big stage. The question is: is he ready for the way the game’s played in the PL and only Arteta can answer that.

    Since he’s on the bench, Arteta seems to think he might be able to do that.

    I dare say he’ll wait until we get a game where we’re 3 up and give him some time on the field.

    [The other interesting people to see on the bench yesterday were ESR and Reiss Nelson]. Could ESR finally make a return soon? Or will be be back in Diaby mode before he gets on the field?

  9. we have bought Kiwior recently, he needs to be given a
    chance to play, we have many games ahead of us !!
    Gabriel needs to calm down and be level headed..

  10. This is spot on.

    Yes, they have done great. But it’s more despite Gabriel than because of him.

    He is childish at times, and makes stupid decisions to often. We would become CL contenders if we had a CB in the level of Tony Adams or Sol Campbells best days

  11. IMO, on the villa first goal, zinny lost d ball cheaply and also ramsdale should have done better. I think Arteta lacks (tactical flexibility), if u watch the game against Everton, Brentford and city, the team struggle to create meaningful goal scoring opportunity, opponents now knows what to expect from this team. As a coach if ur plan A is not working effectively use plan B. My concern on Arteta squad management is alarming, Saka, Gabriel M, zinny, saliba, xhaka these player’s need rest, u rotate the squard adequately.

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