Jamie Redknapp has identified a number of key areas that Arsenal must address if they are to continue developing under Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners have been in good form under the Spaniard recently, beating Liverpool and Manchester City in the last week.
They suffered a slight hiccup when they lost to Aston Villa on Tuesday, meaning they can no longer finish higher than eighth.
They have shown undoubted improvement since the season restarted though, and are expected to be much more consistent next term.
But Redknapp says Arsenal must fix up their defensive issues and reach a decision regarding some key players if that is to be the case.
Speaking on Sky Sports, he said: “I look at that Arsenal back line, they will make mistakes. They need to throw money at the problem.”
The Gunners have conceded 46 league goals, the joint-third worst record in the current top ten. The likes of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi have both made a number of costly mistakes, and could be upgraded on this summer.
Redknapp then turned his attention to three players whose futures remain undecided. Both Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have a year left to run on their contracts, but could leave at the end of the season. Dani Ceballos, meanwhile, is coming to the end of his loan spell and has not yet agreed an extension.
“One issue he has to deal with is Mesut Ozil, he’ll be off this summer I’m sure. He is on an awful lot of money, if you feel the player isn’t right then you have to bite the bullet and let them go.
“Auba, you need to get him a new contract. [You] don’t want to get in another situation [like Ozil]. Players like him are hard to find.
“He wants to play with better players, he will want to know who is coming in. Yeah he gets on with his mates [Alexandre] Lacazette and he speaks highly of [Bukayo] Saka, he is ambitious and he wants to look at the players coming in.
“He is coming to the twilight of his career, he’ll be saying ‘right I want to win something’.”
“Another problem they have got is Ceballos. I really like him, will they get him back? Credit Arteta, when he first came he looked silky. If you lose him and Auba then you have problems.”
Redknapp finished off by insisting the Arsenal board must support Arteta in the transfer window. A plane was flown over Villa Park during Arsenal’s loss with a banner saying “Back Arteta – Kroenke out.”
The Spanish manager has publicly spoken about his concerns over whether he will be given the funds to buy the players he wants.
And Redknapp says the club’s owners must show they are trying to move the club forward if they want to close the gap to those above them.
“The board have to act, I’m not surprised with that plane, you have to back this manager,” he continued.
“If you believe this is the right man, you have to back him. Arsenal is a huge club, players want to be in London. Playing for clubs like this but they have to see they are ambitious. They want to win things because right now they are behind the top four.”
CEBALLOS GIVES UPDATE ON HIS FUTURE
On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Ceballos has spoken out about his plans beyond the current campaign.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a strong run of form since the season restart. That has sparked talk of a contract extension with the Gunners.
There is interest in him from clubs in his homeland, though, meaning he has a choice to make this summer.
Read what Ceballos had to say here…