Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has urged his old club to ‘make an offer’ for Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, while he also rates their chances of remaining top of the league all season.
The Gunners splashed out in excess of £100million on new signings over the summer, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos all joining to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad.
That spending has certainly paid dividends, with Arsenal sitting at the top of the Premier League table.
Arteta’s men have won five of their six games so far, although they lost their last outing at Manchester United.
Petit, who played for the club between 1997-2000, believes this current Arsenal team are showing more character than in previous years. However, the Frenchman admits they need to improve results against fellow ‘top six’ sides.
Speaking to Lord Ping, Petit said: “Right now, Arsenal are first in the league so I would say they are genuine title contenders.
“They have improved over the last few seasons, but they still need to improve against the top teams. They need to learn to convincingly beat top teams.
“We’re seeing things in this Arsenal squad that we haven’t seen before. Maturity, character and personality and so for them to be able to beat the best teams in the division is the last stop for Arsenal.”
Despite strong business over the summer, Arteta was keen to bring in another midfielder on deadline day. Injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny has left the Gunners short in Arteta’s engine room.
Mac Allister a good fit for Arsenal
That led to links with Arthur Melo, Douglas Luiz and Youri Tielemans, although the former ended up at Liverpool. But Petit thinks his old side should swoop for in-form Brighton man Mac Allister instead.
The Argentine has enjoyed a superb start to the season, scoring four goals in six games for the Seagulls, who are currently fourth in the Premier League table.
Petit added: “Not signing Arthur Melo isn’t a big miss for Arsenal. But I know they were looking for that link between the midfield and striker.
“If I were [Arsenal technical director] Edu, I’d make an offer for Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton – I really like him.”
Petit also stressed the importance of the Europa League to the club after they started their campaign ion Thursday evening.
Arsenal beat FC Zurich 2-1 in Switzerland thanks to goals from debutant Marquinhos and Eddie Nketiah.
19-year-old Marquinhos gets Arsenal up and running in the Europa League this season 💪
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 8, 2022
Petit added: “I think Arsenal will take the competition very seriously. And I’m pretty sure that both Arsenal and Man United will reach the semi-finals.
“If they both meet in the final [of the Europa League], I’m a Gooner so I back Arsenal to win. Since Mikel Arteta came to the club they have improved a lot and I have been very impressed.”