By 90Min
April 03, 2018

Ex-Arsenal star Gilberto Silva has possibly diagnosed the reason behind Arsenal's struggles since they last won the Premier League title.

The 41-year-old spent six years at Arsenal, helping them win the league title in 2003/04 - in a season during which they famously went unbeaten - as well as two FA Cups. The Brazilian was also in the side that made it to the 2006 Champions League final.

Silva made his name as a dominant, ball-winning defensive midfielder and the Gunners - by the man's own estimation - haven't had a player as effective in his position since, although he does admit there have been two players who have been close.

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The World Cup winner also reckons the side need to find a player in his mould if they want to compete at the highest level again.

"You cannot blame the player for this but they need to find a player who can play there," he told Sky Sports’ The Debate (as quoted by the Metro).

 "The role is to play simple. I couldn’t do the same as Henry, Ronaldo and the like and you have to know this to play there.

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"I thought Alex Song could have been the one to do this role but he went to West Ham and Barcelona.

"[Mathieu] Flamini in my last season he did a great job which is why I didn’t play which was very frustrating for me."

Francis Coquelin was tipped to become that midfield enforcer the Gunners so desperately need after a fruitful spell in the 2015/16 season. But Gilberto revealed that he was never convinced by the Frenchman.

(You may also be interested in Arsenal Fans Tip Midfielder to Become Permanent Captain as Speculation Looms Over Wilshere Future)

"I remember hearing a comparison with Coquelin when he was playing but when I started to see him I could see there was something missing in his game to be a holding midfielder and sacrifice himself for the team."

Coquelin has since left the club, completing a move to Valencia in January after falling short of expectations and leaving Arsenal to continue their search for a world-class defensive midfielder.

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