Gary Neville has questioned Arsenal’s decision to wait until the transfer deadline day to move for a new midfielder even though they had planned to sign one all summer.
The Gunners made a late attempt to add Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz to their squad just before the window closed, and they had three bids for his signature turned down by the Villans.
He has a year left on his current deal at the Midlands club and Arsenal had been confident they would accept their offers.
However, Villa stood their ground and kept the former Manchester City man, a decision that meant Arsenal did not buy a replacement for the injured Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.
Neville has now questioned the timing of their move.
Appearing on The Overlap Fan Debate Xtra, Neville said: ‘We asked Mikel Arteta on the first game of the season, we said to him “are you going to do any more business?”.
‘He said he did, in midfield. Why did they wait until transfer deadline day to bid for Luiz? Why did they wait that three, four weeks?
‘I thought midfield yesterday [against Manchester United] was the one area where United looked like they had more, at times, passing through the lines.
‘I know that Arsenal did really well in midfield, but when there was a moment to open up the game – I know Odegaard can do that – I felt they did lack a midfield player.’
Just Arsenal Opinion
The timing of our move for Luiz was simply poor, and it showed we had a different plan prior to deadline day.
That decision cost us the transfer, and we will have to work with our current options until at least January.
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