Arsenal should take £40m ‘gamble’ on Lewis Dunk instead of Pablo Mari, says Ray Palour

Ray Parlour says Arsenal should sign a 'proper defender' like Lewis Dunk
Ray Parlour says Arsenal should sign a ‘proper defender’ like Lewis Dunk (Picture: Getty)

Ray Parlour has urged Arsenal to take a ‘gamble’ and try to sign Lewis Dunk over Pablo Mari this January.

The Gunners are in the market for a central defender after Calum Chamers was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a serious knee injury and Mari has been identified as the club’s priority target.

Arsenal technical director Edu agreed a deal with Flamengo for Mari last week and the Spanish centre-back travelled to London on Saturday before undergoing a medical.

However, the move is now in serious doubt after a Flamengo director accused the Premier League giants of changing the terms of their agreement.

Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus has also played down Arsenal’s chances of landing Mari before Friday’s transfer deadline.

Flamengo ace Mari is Arsenal's number one target this January
Flamengo ace Mari is Arsenal’s number one target this January (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend Parlour believes his former club should look closer to home for a defender this winter and has named Brighton’s Dunk as a potential solution.

‘If I really had to go and buy one, whether you’ve got the money to do it or not, I’d take a gamble on a player like Lewis Dunk,’ Parlour told talkSPORT.

‘£30million, £40million, would Brighton take that? I don’t know.

‘I like the way he plays, he’s a proper centre-back. That’s what you need sometimes.

‘Sol Campbell was a proper centre-back when I played, he’d stop you scoring, and that’s what you want from your centre-half.

‘He doesn’t have to be great on the ball at times. We’re talking about different players [in quality].

‘Sol was one of the best centre halves around at that time.

‘But someone like Lewis Dunk, who’s probably a little bit unlucky not to be in more England squads, I’m sure Brighton fans don’t want to be losing a player like that.’

Martin Keown says Arsenal have no option but to bring in a defender if they are to have any hope of achieving their ‘massive goals’ this season.

‘Arsenal now need to go and sign a central defender if they didn’t need one already,’ the ex-Arsenal centre-back said on BT Sport.

‘That will determine it. You need to have bodies now. There’s massive goals ahead for the rest of the season.

‘You’ve got the Europa League where if you win that you get back in the Champions League, you can fight for the top-four – maybe that’s gone – but you’ve got to get back into Europe and the FA Cup itself.

‘There is still so much to fight for.’

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