Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes his former club will experience more defeats like their loss to Liverpool if they fail to sign Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar before the transfer window closes.
The Gunners were beaten 3-1 by the Premier League champions at Anfield, despite taking the lead through Alexandre Lacazette in the first half.
Arteta selected Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian and Lacazette in attack but the Gunners were pinned back for much of the game and the latter failed to take the side’s biggest chance of the game in the second half.
The Gunners’ display improved significantly following the introduction of Dani Ceballos from the bench as Arsenal had a more attack-minded central midfielder to play through, as opposed to Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny.
Arsenal have submitted two bids for Aouar in the last week but Lyon are yet to receive an offer that meets their asking price.
And Wright has urged Arsenal to pay whatever it takes to get the Frenchman as he feels the defeat highlighted the Gunners’ need for a ball-player in midfield.
‘It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you,’ Wright told Premier League Productions.
‘You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until Ceballos came on.
‘[They need] Someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it round the corner,
‘From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment. That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon.
‘He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. you saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on. that’s what Arsenal need.’
Arsenal are expected to offload Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi before the transfer window closes and the Gunners hope to sign Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.
The Ghanian is more defensive-minded and Wright says if they fail to sign a player like Aouar then they will struggle to beat sides in the top six.
‘What we’ve seen is that Arsenal can keep it to 3-1 but in times before Arsenal have really collapsed under Unai Emery and in the latter stages under Arsene Wenger,’ said Wright.
‘They’re so much more organised now but with the organisation they need the right pieces in there. If they can’t get that player this is what will happen. We can beat the likes of Fulham but when it’s that type of calibre of team you’ll see Arsenal struggle.’
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