Arsenal old boy advises Unai Emery on two signings Gunners must make

Unai Emery TEAMtalk

Unai Emery should blow his entire transfer budget on strengthening his defence, with his focus on recruiting two top-class centre-halves for Arsenal.

That’s according to the club’s former striker Charlie Nicholas, who believes failure to strengthen at the back could cost Arsenal dear once again when the new season kicks off in August.

The Gunners are said to have met with St-Etienne on Tuesday to discuss a potential swoop for William Saliba, who made 16 Ligue 1 appearances for them during the 2018-19 campaign.

Arsenal are also involved in ongoing negotiations with Celtic over a deal for full-back Kieran Tierney, with the Scottish champions apparently setting a £25m asking price on the defender’s head.

However, Nicolas, speaking to the Transfer Talk podcast, said that one central defensive signing is not enough for Arsenal this summer.

“Two centre-backs, immediately,” Nicholas said.

“Immediately two centre-backs. They need a bit of pace, they’ve never really had the pace.

“The guy who had pace was [Laurent] Koscielny, but he kind of lost his pace two, three seasons ago under Arsene Wenger.

“It was through the injuries, it wasn’t the lad’s fault, but it was the reality of the injuries has caught up with him.

“Then after that we had to go round about the houses to accept that [Shkodran] Mustafi didn’t fit in. Sokratis, in my opinion, is a strong defender, but he plays solo.

“And Arsenal under Unai Emery have to be a unit, they have to get the defensive structure right.

“(Nacho) Monreal has actually done okay for Arsenal considering what his limitations were. He was a left-back, he was never a centre-back but he had to play there.

“That always told me the reality was that Arsenal’s big, big problems is centre-backs and they need two centre-backs in my opinion.

“A left-back like [Kieran] Tierney would be absolutely welcome, [Hector] Bellerin is probably still a bit away from fitness, we don’t have enough cover in there.”


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