Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has called on Arsene Wenger to make some marquee signings this summer, as the transfer window moves well into the second month.
Arsenal have so far completed just one signing, young Charlton star Carl Jenkinson, and pundits and fans alike are waiting with great anticipation to see what move Wenger makes next in the market.
Lille striker Gervinho has reportedly had a medical at the club this week, though Keown believes that the Arsenal manager needs to further reinforce his defence, in order to create a side capable of winning trophies, and moving into the realm of Chelsea and Manchester United.
“Last season, the defence was passive and uncertain but if it is an education problem, they have quality coaches there who are more than capable of sorting that out,” Keown said in his column for the Daily Mirror.
“One of the roles of the defenders is to organise the creative players to get the best out of them defensively. Arshavin said last year that Arsenal always need to score lots of goals because the defence let in so many.”
As skipper Cesc Fabregas is consistently linked with a move to Barcelona, Keown points out that strong leadership could make the difference between a spot in the Champions League and lifting the title.
"There are lots of creativity and flair in the squad but the one ingredient that must be improved upon is leadership," added the former Arsenal centre back. "You do that by taking ownership and responsibility for the team and getting out of your comfort zone by being more demanding of your teammates.”
Keown also believes that keeping Samir Nasri, who has been connected to moves to Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, will be viewed as 'statement of intent' by fans and players alike, as Arsenal look to end a six-year barren spell.
“I think Fabregas will leave because he has such an affinity with Barca, do not rule out Wenger succeeding with a last-ditch attempt to persuade Nasri to stay,” Keown insisted.
“Nasri is a player you don't want to lose - especially to a rival - but a lot of it will depend on the conversation when he returns to training.
“The problem is that if Nasri leaves as well, the chance of Arsenal winning things becomes even more remote. But if he can be persuaded to stay, fans and players will look at it - inside and outside the club - and see it as a statement of intent.”
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