“I think a minimum of maybe five changes” Keown names changes Arsenal has to make

Martin Keown says Arsenal needs to make changes to their playing squad in the summer if they are serious about becoming a top team again.

The Gunners will look to bolster their squad when the transfer window reopens and Keown thinks the work ahead is massive.

Arsenal looks set to miss out on European football for the first time in more than two decades.

Mikel Arteta’s team has flattered to deceive and have spent much of this season far from the European places.

They are making a late push for a place in the Europa League or Conference League, though the latter may be a poison chalice.

Regardless of the position they find themselves in when the campaign ends, they would need to make changes and Keown thinks at least five new players need to be brought in including a defender, although he says they have enough firepower in their attack.

He told TalkSport as quoted by Sun Sports:

“Well, it’s a time for change in terms of the players, personnel.

“One to 11, if you go right through the team, Leno’s not signing a new deal by all accounts, Bellerin at right-back is not holding that position down, the two central defenders, you’d say there is uncertainty over who is going to play there.

“[Kieran] Tierney the left-back is probably the only one who is a shoo-in as a defender.

“You run right through the team and it’s the young kids really that are the backbone of the team. [Bukayo] Saka, [Emile] Smith Rowe have been outstanding this season.

“I think a minimum of maybe five changes. I think the front players are still good – I’d keep [Alexandre] Lacazette, I like him actually in the club.

“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s had his problems this season, [Gabriel] Martinelli needs to be used more, maybe on the wing perhaps.

“Then you’ve got Saka to play, Smith Rowe, make sure they build those careers.

“But they need a base in midfield, [Thomas] Partey needs a partner alongside him, they need to spend there.

“Gabriel [Magalhaes] has been disappointing as a central defender, Luiz is about to leave. So there is huge surgery to be made by the manager.”

Arteta will get some support in the next transfer window and he has to know that next season is probably his last chance to get things right.

Tags Martin Keown


  1. How long have we been saying this for??!!

    OT.. Tomorrow night will be Hodgson’s last home game in charge of Palace – no pressure then 😳

  2. I reckon all of these TV Football pundits are pretty much as bad as each other but Martin Keown’s one that I really can’t take seriously

    Everybody’s entitled to their opinion but in mine this is a lazy cliched piece where not for the first time he has contradicted what he has said previously this season

    1. @FingersFurnel
      I do agree with you:pundits are often bad coachs\managers.They often are mere fans in termes of footballing knowledge .BUT in this one MK ils right…he’s spot on on every player\position mentioned…..

  3. FF, out of curiosity, can you give the examples of where/when MK has contradicted himself from this article?

    Not disagreeing, as I don’t know, but have always felt MK gives his honest opinion.

      1. 100 % I agree with you Jon. I think MK is spot on. Effectively he’s saying that there’s only 3,4,5 players of the 1st 11 he would keep and that pretty well chimes with my opinion !

        You don’t need to be a great manager to see the reality.

    1. In this particular piece it’s the Gabriel comment Ken, earlier in the season I recall him being a fan of his, he may have been disappointed by Gabriel since, that’s his perogotive, he has also been supportive of Arteta and the team in general not being that bad earlier this season but became quite over the top against all things Arsenal after the EL semi games, I feel he just goes with the flow of what he believes to be the majority of supporter’s opinions rather than come up with some original thoughts of his own

      I wasn’t saying his views were wrong or right here, more that he dresses up the things that he knows a lot of other people are saying and that therefore it was not particularly thought provoking, an easy piece to be quoted as saying and not really necessary at this point in time

      I think it is extremely unlikely that we are going to buy 5 or 6 new players in this break, I personally hope not, we need to reduce the size of the squad more not inflate it, the loanees will probably all return in both directions so a more insightful opinion/piece may have been to pin point the area(s) where we do need to bring someone in, why and maybe who they might be rather than list who he thinks should stay (did he actually say Auba should stay or just that he has had some problems this season?) and single out Gabriel with a fairly weak pop

  4. I think he is correct in what he says on this occasion.As an ex CB it’s interesting to note his comments on Gabriel who I also feel has had a disappointing season.

  5. For me, the two biggest priorities to the starting 11 are a midfield partner for Party (would love to see Yves Bissouma) and secondly a decent right back. The way we play our full-backs is important and at the moment we are only a threat with Thierney. Bellerin is not getting the job done and want to leave supposedly.

    For CD we have to make it work with what we have. Saliba should get a chance and looks solid and from the games I have watched even Mavro is a good option.

    Then we need a backup left-back because Thierney will miss a lot of games.

    Don’t bring Ceballos back and don’t bring Odegaard back. Perhaps give Wilock an other chance he deserves it IMO. Would his average level be lower than a Ceballos? He could also give ESR some rest from time to time.

    If we manage to raise a lot of money from the players we sell we should look for a creative midfield player to add some depth to our options. At the moment we only have ESR to really push us forward in that department and if Odegaards leaves …

    1. I think you are spot on Jan, midfield should be the priority, agree that neither Ceballos or Odegaard have looked like the solution, just going on his performances for us I don’t think it’s a case of building a midfield around Partey but he has to a part of it next season and I’d like to think he could improve his own personal contribution

      Looking forward with interest as to how he and Bissouma match up on Sunday

      ESR could drop deeper and play as an attacking midfielder rather than a no 10, it’s a fine line between those two positions anyway

      Saka is an 8 out of 10 wherever he plays, maybe he is part of a midfield solution rather than wide right?

      But as I say I think you are right that we need to bring someone in to our midfield who will genuinely make a difference

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