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How Mikel Arteta can get Arsenal challenging again

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal need abrupt solution to boost midfield woes
Arsenal finished a credible fifth in the Premier League last season, but they will still be disappointed with how their campaign eventually ended.

The club were in pole position to secure fourth at one stage, but two defeats in the final three games saw Tottenham Hotspur leapfrog them.

It will be another campaign without Champions League football, and manager Mikel Arteta has a busy summer ahead to sort the underlying concerns.

A new striker should obviously be the top priority for the Spaniard. The Gunners netted just 13 league goals through their centre-forwards last term.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was hugely disappointing before his mid-season exit, and the same can be said for Alexandre Lacazette in the final months.

Eddie Nketiah’s late season emergence with five goals from seven games has revived his Gunners career, but the club need more quality up front.

There has been talk of Gabriel Jesus arriving from Manchester City. The Brazilian could be an ideal fit for Arteta with his good hold-up play and finishing.

Jesus bagged 13 goals and 12 assists for City last term. His ability to play on the right wing with relative comfort would be an added asset for Arsenal.

Aside from a new marksman, the Gunners desperately need reinforcements in the full-back positions.

Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu are undisputed starters in left and right-back spots when fit, but the duo missed several games with injuries last season.

Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares filled their voids at different stages, but both of them were defensively error prone. The Gunners need upgrades on the duo.

Aaron Hickey, who is strong with either foot, could be an option to cover up for both. The Gunners have also been linked with Udinese right-back Nahuel Molina.

The Argentine is vastly experienced compared to Hickey at 24. He was the best scoring defender in Europe’s top-five leagues last season with eight goals.

Meanwhile, Arteta must also look to pursue another quality defensive midfielder, given the injury troubles for Thomas Partey since joining from Atletico Madrid.

The Ghana international was sorely missed during the final few games of the season. His commanding influence in the centre of the park would have been valuable.

The Gunners can ill-afford to go another season without a strong competitor. Mohamed Elneny fared well alongside Granit Xhaka, but the club need more quality.

The board are currently prioritising a move for Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans, who could be a superb acquisition despite a mixed season with Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The Belgian can comfortably play in different midfield options. He averaged two tackles per league game last term, and also made 10 goal contributions in the process.

The only drawback was him conceding as many as four penalties. The speculation may have had a toll on him, and he could come good with the change in surroundings.

Arsenal’s prime concern in the second half of last season was the lack of quality depth and experience. It was full capitalised upon by Spurs with their match-winners.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min Son hit peak form during the final months while their winter signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur also settled quickly.

The Gunners hierarchy missed the trick by not addressing their issues in January. A new centre-forward was not signed which eventually cost the club a top-four league finish.

Arteta should be backed with funds this summer. Hopefully, the club can go on another big spending spree which is much required to pursue their top transfer targets.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com

 

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