As per Jamie Carragher, on Sky Sports, Arsenal still needs a title-winning defender. The Liverpool legend believes that Arteta’s project may need another top defender to join for it to be able to sustain a title charge.
“When you think of title winners, you go through players in my position: Vincent Kompany, Virgil van Dijk, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, and John Terry. When I look at Arsenal’s centre-backs, I don’t think they’ve quite got one of those yet”
A Gooner listening to Carragher may argue Saliba is as good as these defenders he’s mentioned. However, Carragher claims Saliba is great but has yet to reach the levels the top defenders he has mentioned are playing at. “When I look at Arsenal’s centre-backs, I don’t think they’ve quite got one of those yet, even though Saliba may become that.”
Notably, the former England international and Sky Sports pundit argues that it is not fair to claim Arsenal’s defence is rock-solid with a fit Saliba, as many think it is. He indicated on Monday night football with the slide below, that, whether with Saliba or not, Arsenal have leaked goals, saying: “It tells you that, after the World Cup, they were looking completely different defensively.
“They were still getting the results, but they were conceding goals.
“Then, without Saliba, they drop even further. Yes, that’s where they have lost it, and with Saliba, they were still top of the league, but this idea that they weren’t conceding goals or looking vulnerable with Saliba at centre-back is a myth.”
As they wait for the Frenchman to reach his peak, they should find another top centre-back to partner him, as Gabriel isn’t his best partner. Why so? Carragher argues Gabriel may never get better than he is saying: “I think he’s got the potential to be a Virgil van Dijk, a Vincent Kompany, or a Rio Ferdinand, that sort of figure at center-back… I’m not quite sure Gabriel has.”
Do you think Arteta needs to splash millions for a top defender like Leipzig’s Jasko Gviordal or Napoli’s Kim Min Jae?
Video – Mikel Arteta explains what went wrong against Brighton “Individually we were below par”
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