Premier League legends Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand have told Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy that the club needs to buy "leaders" in order to be considered as real Premier League title contenders next season.
The North London outfit's stuttering Premier League season continued on Sunday as they lost to fierce London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. This defeat along with their seemingly fading top four hopes have prompted the two English greats to demand Arsenal sign players that will lead the team onto the Emirates field.
The Gunners spent big on reinforcing their attack after Alexis Sanchez's move to Manchester United, bringing in serial goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United respectively.
This, however, hasn't addressed the key issues in the Arsenal spine; something Rio Ferdinand believes is the real issue in Arsenal's struggles in mounting a serious title challenge in recent seasons.
“I feel like a broken record when I come on here and talk about Arsenal. Lacking concentration, lacking leadership in defence and the central area of the field. They’re lacking somebody to action govern that pitch.
''There have to be players who take responsibility and who take pride in keeping clean sheets and producing disciplined performance. They haven’t got that.” Ferdinand told BT Sport (via The Sport Review)
"Suddenly Arsenal is the club to play for one more."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 10, 2018
"Their Achilles heel has been their defending, how are these new players going to help that?!"
Martin Keown and Rio Ferdinand debate Arsène Wenger's winter signings 💰 pic.twitter.com/Ba3btrYsqL
Arsenal legend Ian Wright echoed Ferdinand's opinion on his former club's potential summer recruitment in stating that the club needs four new signings in the summer; unsurprisingly all of them to strengthen the team defensively.
“Arsenal need a proper defensive midfielder and they need two centre-halves, not just one. I would also start looking for a goalkeeper as well.” Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live (via The Sport Review)
The North London outfit haven't won the Premier League since the Invincible's season of 2003-04, when they had leaders such as Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira on their books, but Arsenal fans would hope with these clearly needed signings the club could return to their former glory.
In the here and now though, Arsenal sit in sixth place in the Premier League table and five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for the four Champions League places. They do, however, have the opportunity to enter the Champions League group stages if they win the Europa League; a competition in which they face Ostersund in the first leg on Thursday.