Ray Parlour believes Arsenal are in desperate need of a win over Liverpool this weekend to prevent fan unrest amid the wait for new signings.
Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of Sunday’s Premier League season-opener at Emirates Stadium, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel both out injured and Laurent Koscielny only returning to training on Monday.
Arsene Wenger wants to sign Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, but Parlour fears supporters will make their feelings clear if no new players are brought in this week and the Gunners then go on to suffer frustration against Liverpool.
Speaking to our partner brand Planet Football, Parlour said: “The game at the weekend is very important because if Liverpool get a result I think the fans will start moaning and suddenly it’s not the best atmosphere and the players will suffer.
“As a former Arsenal player, I just hope they can get off to a good start with a win because, although it shouldn’t stop Arsene Wenger making some new signings, it might just take the pressure off the players a little bit.”
Parlour has sympathy for Arsenal in their struggle to make new signings but, like many, believes a new centre-back and new centre-forward are required if the team is to challenge for the title this season.
He said: “The fans are waiting for a new signing and the club is no doubt working hard to get a few in, but it’s so complicated these days. We knew about Manchester United trying to sign Paul Pogba ages ago and it’s only just got over the line.
“John Stones, I had people telling me three weeks ago it was done with Manchester City, but that was only confirmed yesterday.
“Deals now are so complicated between clubs, agents and players, and I’m sure Arsene Wenger and Steve Rowley the chief scout are working really hard to get some new bodies through the door.
“For me, a centre-half is most important with Gabriel getting injured against Man City, and also a centre-forward. Manchester United, City, Chelsea have all got good players, but if Arsenal can get those two players they’ll have a chance.
“At the moment they look a bit light at the back and up front, but I’m just hoping with two or three weeks to go in the transfer window they can get a few more players in.”
Ray Parlour has gone head to head with poker star Chris Moorman in the 888poker Premier League predictions.