Arsenal legend gives Arteta clear instructions over perfect next signing amid squad concern

Date published: Tuesday 23rd November 2021 12:10 - Jonny Whitfield

Robert Pires, former Arsenal midfielder, June 2018

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has urged manager Mikel Arteta to sign another English defender in the January transfer window.

The Gunners have turned a corner in recent weeks to become one of the Premier League’s in-form teams. While the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool was a major bump in the road, they went 10 matches unbeaten before then.

That run saw Arsenal score 18 goals, with Emile Smith Rowe particularly starring.

However, the solid defence Arteta has built helped to keep seven clean sheets at the other end. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White Gabriel and left-back stars Nuno Tavares and Kieran Tierney have proved crucial.

Arsenal signed White, Tomiyasu and Tavares in the summer, the former costing £50million from Brighton.

According to Pires, though, Arteta needs to further bolster his defensive ranks in January.

“It is difficult but in January if Arsenal can spend money maybe on a defender because I think our midfield and strikers are very good players,” the Frenchman told the Daily Mail.

“In my opinion sign English players because we need English players in this squad because when you play in the Premier League, you need a player like this.

“For example, in my time I played with Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown, Ashely Cole and this is the base for your team.

“They need to spend the money on a defender in my opinion, English.”

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White’s Arsenal career began on a tough note with the 2-0 defeat to Brentford. He then missed the next two Premier League matches which left Arsenal bottom after three games with no points and a minus nine goal difference.

However, the stability with the Englishman, Gabriel and Tomiyasu in the team has helped Arteta’s cause.

Arsenal target in transfer hint

Renato Sanches Lille November 2021

As for who else Arsenal could sign, reports claim that they still have eyes on Lille midfielder Renato Sanches.

The former Swansea loanee has resurrected his career in France, helping the club to the Ligue 1 title last season.

He has now confirmed that he feels ready for the next step in his career.

What’s more, Sanches namechecked Arsenal as a potential next destination.

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