Arsenal

Charlie Nicholas: Arsenal need two centre-backs immediately

Finishing fifth in the Premier League before getting blown away in the Europa League final against Chelsea, it is clear that Arsenal need to strengthen their squad this summer.

Where? Well for one former Arsenal player, the answer is simple. Have a look at his verdict in this instalment of our Pundit’s Choice feature.

“Two centre-backs. Immediately,” Charlie Nicholas told Sky Sports when asked about potential signings. “They need a bit of pace – the guy who had pace was Laurent Koscielny but he kind of lost it about two to three seasons ago after the injuries.

“After that, I’m happy to add bonuses in midfield and potentially a winger or another striker but for Arsenal, ultimately it has to be two centre-backs.”

With one of the worst defensive records in the top half of the Premier League table after conceding 51 league goals last season, defence is easily a concern for Arsenal, though you would have to say Koscielny is far from being the Gunners’ biggest worry.

Instead, it is Shkodran Mustafi who has made Arsenal’s need for new central defenders so urgent. The 27-year-old has been massively unconvincing at the back since joining from Valencia to the point where the north London club have tried to flog him off, according to the reliable David Ornstein of BBC Sport.

When you consider all of that, Nicholas is right, Arsenal definitely need a central defender or two this summer.

Will they be able to get that? With a transfer budget that could be as low as £40m (as per BBC Sport), it will be difficult. But they have little choice but to address the above if they want to make a return to the Champions League.

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Charlie Nicholas: Arsenal need two centre-backs immediately
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