Arsenal have been advised to offload Mesut Ozil to the highest bidder when the transfer window opens and secure the signing of a Manchester United target in his place.
Ozil remains Arsenal’s highest earner on a deal worth an estimated £350,000 a week, but the former Germany international has proved something of a divisive figure and did not figure regularly under former boss Unai Emery.
And according to Kevin Campbell, offloading the former Real Madrid man would free-up Arsenal’s budget to bring in a top-quality replacement – and the former Gunners striker suggests they look to bring in Jack Grealish ahead of United.
Villa skipper Grealish has been in superb form this season with seven goals and six assists in 26 Premier League starts, as he tries to keep his boyhood club in the Premier League.
That form has attracted plenty of interest from other clubs, with Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer known to be a big admirer of the 24-year-old.
The Red Devils are being strongly tipped to make a move for the playmaker this summer, with some report suggesting that they are ready to pay up to £70million to get their man – despite some pundits claiming it would not be a good move.
However, Campbell reckons Grealish would prove a quality addition for Arsenal and has advised Mikel Arteta to build his side around the England hopeful.
“Arsenal need an all-rounder in midfield, Arsenal need someone in the middle of the pitch who not only can create, he can break the play up, but he’s got legs, we miss that. We’ve been a strong spine for years.
“There was talk of should we go for Jack Grealish or James Maddison, these type of guys would improve Arsenal.
“No disrespect to Mesut Ozil, but Ozil is on the wrong side of his Arsenal career with a year left on his contract after this.
“But we need someone who’s going to be in there with legs, we need creativity, and someone that when the game’s not going particularly well, he can get stuck in and knuckle down as well.
“We’re being shown up by the likes of Sheffield United, Chris Wilder who has done a fantastic job there, they haven’t got the quality that Arsenal have but they’re above us in the league.
“Why? Because they’ve got a system and they fight, grab and battle, and they’ve got some quality there as well. If we can’t match these teams, we don’t deserve to be up there.”
Both United and Arsenal have also been linked with Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey, with a report last month claiming the Gunners were ‘one step away’ from landing the Ghanaian powerhouse.
And Campbell reckons he too would be a shrewd addition for Arteta, though he is concerned that the club’s owners won’t stump up the cash.
He added: “If Stan Kroenke invests in the likes of Thomas Partey, you can say OK, fair enough, we can make that move. But if the owner doesn’t invest, I don’t see how Arsenal are going to be able to afford him, unless you swap players.
“I know [Alexandre] Lacazette has been coveted by Atletico Madrid before he joined Arsenal, so there might be some swaps that can happen, but I just don’t think Arsenal are in the financial position to be able to be aggressive in the transfer market, how we as fans would love them to be.
“I see they might have to come down a couple of levels, and I don’t mind that, I don’t mind the team giving younger players a chance, I just think there’s experienced players out there who won’t cost the earth who could do a job at Arsenal.
“I think we need to be more of a team, and not look for the names. We’ve missed out on that for years.”