Martin Keown names the first player Unai Emery should sign at Arsenal

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Football News

Unai Emery faces quite the challenge at Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's departure and the disappointment of last season.

Arsenal fans want change and while Emery's appointment will help with that, the Spaniard will be expected to ring changes of his own this summer.

Deadwood needs to be sold, the futures of current players must be sorted and new signings are essential in certain positions.

Speaking at his unveiling, Emery explained how he's succeeded in big projects before and he will do so again at Arsenal.

"We will create a new present and a new future for Arsenal," the 46-year-old said. "It's a big challenge for me, but I have worked also in other projects, big projects.

"For me, I am proud to be here and to work after Arsene Wenger. Our objective is to be among the best teams in Europe, to win titles and to be in the elite of European teams."

Emery will only be given £50 million to spend in the summer transfer window and any other funds will need to be generated from sales.


Who exactly the former Paris Saint-Germain boss plans to sell remains to be seen, but the positions he must focus on bolstering are in goal, central defence and central midfield.

Martin Keown hopes to see Emery bring in players that will add a "nastiness" to Arsenal and he's named one individual who can do just that: Marco Verratti.


Emery worked with Verratti at PSG and Keown wants Arsenal's manager to strike a deal for the Italian - or someone of that ilk at least.

"To expect that Emery will transform this team into champions overnight is unrealistic," Keown wrote for the Daily Mail.

"Arsenal has been run Wenger's way for 22 years and, given the sheer spending power of the Manchester clubs, the competition is fierce.


"Emery inherits a side that can do damage in the final third but lacks a steeliness and a nastiness, particularly away from home.

"If he can restore these ingredients, then Arsenal can at least challenge in the Premier League. The fans want to see a team that can dig in, battle and scrap.

"Emery needs to bring in a player like Marco Verratti, who he managed at Paris Saint-Germain, to instil those qualities in midfield."

Martin, you've nailed it. Arsenal's midfield currently lacks steel, even with Granit Xhaka in the side, and Verratti is exactly the kind of player who can change that.

Martin Keown
Premier League

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