Ray Parlour has called on Arsenal to bolster three key areas to boost their prospects in the second half of the season, with the Invincible hoping for a central midfielder, a striker and a left-back this January.
Arsenal enjoyed another strong start to the campaign after finishing as last year’s Premier League runners-up, but Mikel Arteta’s men have faltered over the winter period – managing just one victory in their last five top-flight matches.
Defending champions Manchester City, meanwhile, have rediscovered their rampant, title-winning form and now sit just two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders Liverpool, with the Gunners at risk of dropping out of the top four.
There have been desperate calls amongst Arsenal’s fanbase for the club to dip into the market this month, to get their title charge back on track, and a number of high-profile names have been linked with moves to the Emirates.
The north London giants are prioritising a top-class centre-forward to ease the load on Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah and Brentford’s Ivan Toney is being mooted as a possible option up front, along with the likes of Victor Osimhen and even Karim Benzema.
Parlour feels his former club are also lacking depth and quality in midfield and name-checked Everton’s Amadou Onana as a player who could fill the void alongside Declan Rice.
‘I certainly believe the midfield area definitely if Thomas Partey does leave because he’s an important player when he plays,’ the ex-Arsenal and England midfielder told The Sun.
‘He’s a dynamic player in that midfield, he’s very good at sitting back and getting back into the back-four and probably Declan Rice can push forward a little bit more.
‘Onana has been mentioned from Everton who is having a good season.
‘I like him he is quite a good player in that midfield area.’
Jesus and Nketiah have managed just eight league goals between them since the start of the season and Parlour believes Arsenal need to bring in support for the duo in the goalscoring department.
‘The striker is the most important place probably because goals win you games. I always go back to my team. We had four great strikers in our team,’ Parlour added.
‘I mean sometimes five with Kanu, [Sylvain] Wiltord, [Thierry] Henry, [Dennis] Bergkamp and Francis Jeffers one year who could bang you a goal when he played.
‘So I do believe that they’ve only got two really at the moment, [Gabriel] Martinelli can play up there or [Leandro] Trossard as a false No.9 but they’re not out-and-out strikers. So that is certainly the areas for me.’
Parlour feels the Gunners are also in need of a left-back, with Oleksandr Zinchenko out injured Takehiro Tomiyasu forced to play out of position while filling in for the Ukrainian.
‘Tomiyasu struggled a bit at times, I know he’s a right-footed player,’ he went on.
‘At this point in time Zinchenko is injured but he will hopefully be back very soon.
‘So I would always look at central midfield and the spine on this team is so important.
‘So I think central midfield is a vital place to strengthen at this present time and obviously a striker.
‘But the players we’re looking at they’re gonna cost you at least £150m to fully fill those gaps.’
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