Martin Keown tells Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke to spend own money on Mikel Arteta transfer signings

Mikel Arteta will hope to bolster his Arsenal squad this summer
Mikel Arteta will hope to bolster his Arsenal squad this summer (Picture: Getty)

Martin Keown has urged Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke to dip into his own pocket to fund Mikel Arteta’s transfer signings this summer.

Arteta will hope to bolster his squad at the end of the season but is expected to have limited funds to work with after Arsenal announced losses of £27.1million for the 2018-19 season.

The Gunners are paying the price for failing to qualify for the lucrative Champions League and Arteta has admitted players may leave if the club cannot offer them a place at Europe’s top table.

Arsenal legend Keown insists Arteta needs to be backed financially and says the manager should be looking to strengthen the ‘spine of his team’ this summer.

‘Mikel Arteta has got to be allowed to build the team,’ Keown told Goal. ‘He’s got to be given money to develop.

‘Do the owners need to be put some of their own money in? Obviously there are limits to the losses the club can run at, we know that with Manchester City in recent weeks and what they’ve gone through, but expenditure needs to be made in the team.

‘They need to strengthen the spine of the team. The midfield will need to be improved and so does the defence, the results tell you that.

‘It’s about what sort of resources Arteta will be given and where he feels he needs to prioritise. I feel he needs to build from the back.

‘All the successful Arsenal teams have had a really strong defence and although you can improve things on the training pitch, I think he has to start with personnel.

‘You want dominant figures, people who want to organise and win that ball when it comes into the box. So that has to be an area where he wants to strengthen or change who he wants to start with.’

Keown, who won three Premier League titles at Arsenal, added: ‘I imagine now they are spending a lot of time watching players across the world trying to identify individuals that they can bring in for really good value.

‘But Arsenal won’t be able to shop in the most expensive shops I’m afraid. They will have to look for players who are slightly down from that, which has an element of risk.

‘It’s about a judgement call on your players. Very good players have been bought in the past that nobody really knew anything about. They are going to have to be imaginative in the transfer market.

‘There is a hell of a competition amongst all the top teams to try to find these individuals and it’s a judgement call and in the end I think Arteta will be judged obviously by results, but also in the transfer market.’

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