Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes the Gunners will need to invest in a centre-half, a midfielder and another striker if they are to launch another title challenge next season.
After sitting top of the table for most of the season, Arsenal’s hopes of winning a first league title in 19 years are fading after Wednesday’s crushing 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta’s side are still two points clear at the summit but City now have two games in hand with a more favourable fixture list ahead of them.
City can move top with a win at Fulham on Sunday with Arsenal not in action until Tuesday when they host Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta’s side dropped points in their three games heading into the City defeat with the absence of William Saliba at centre-half serving as a major blow for their title prospects.
West Ham United star Declan Rice is thought to be one of Arsenal’s top Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r targets to reinforce the midfield but Smith believes Saliba’s absence has heightened the need for another option at the back.
Gabriel Jesus has proved to be a shrewd acquisition following his arrival from City last Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r but Smith suggests another option up front could also be considered.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I think you’re probably looking through the heart of the team, through the centre.
‘We’ve obviously seen how they’ve suffered without Wiliam Saliba and the drop-off was quite drastic really, no manager would want to see that so they miss the Frenchman.
‘Thomas Partey has been a bit in and out this season, when Xhaka didn’t play they missed him certainly.
‘There’s been a lot of attention on Arsenal’s central midfield, possibly Declan Rice coming. That’s going to be a saga in the Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r. Where’s the West Ham midfielder going to end up, it looks like he’s going to leave the Hammers.
‘Possibly another forward to compete with Jesus, they’ve got Eddie Nketiah but I think the centre-half and the central midfielder that will start games.
‘[Jakub] Kiwior, the defender who came in in January, could develop into a very good player so that might be a bit premature because they bought one in Kiwior but Mikel Arteta didn’t feel he was ready yet and Rob Holding got the shout.’
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First appear at Alan Smith names three signings Arsenal must make this Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r to catch Manchester City