Charlie Nicholas urges Mikel Arteta to sell ten Arsenal stars including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang & David Luiz

Arsenal Training Session
Aubameyang could be sold this summer (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta needs to sanction a complete gutting of Arsenal’s squad, according to Charlie Nicholas.

David Luiz’s horror show against Manchester City was the latest instalment of Arsenal’ defensive frailties this season and Nicholas is convinced the Gunners could sell as many as ten players this summer.

Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Luiz have been linked with exits and Nicholas urged Arteta to axe the trio and many more to raise funds to address Arsenal’s defensive issues.

‘They do not have a centre-back of prominence at the club. Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz are just simply not good enough,’ Nicholas told Sky Sports.

‘They spent around £8million on David Luiz, who has won the Premier League and the Champions League.

‘The craziness is that he was better than what was already there. That should show those players just how bad it is and also how bad it is for Arteta.

‘Kieran Tierney cost £25m but is not yet fit, we have no centre-backs, Sead Kolasinac cannot defend either. 

‘Arteta has inherited this team, and it has been a disaster defensively. Pablo Mari is not the answer I don’t think. If you have to sell Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi, Ozil to get him off the wage bill, Kolasinac too, then do it.

Take the money for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if the right amount comes in, and sell Granit Xhaka as well.

‘There are ten players Arsenal could sell. It goes into a fund to get more defenders.

‘All the best teams in principle have the best structure and they resolve their defensive issues.

‘Liverpool paid big money for Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, and they paid £8m for Andy Roberson, who has pace and quality.

‘There is nothing to say that it will take years. The board and owners do not have years as the crowd will turn on them if they do not identify that the defence is everything. It is the area that matters right now. If they do not address it they will get further and further away from it.

Arsenal's David Luiz walks off after being sent off during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 17, 2020. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Laurence Griffiths/PA Wire/NMC Pool. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or
Luiz lasted just 25 minutes against City before being sent off (Picture: Getty)

‘This is a must. Whoever you must sell, the funds must go on defenders, and you start building again.

‘Perhaps not of the Van Dijk stature, but someone who is strong and has pace in defence would suffice.

‘They have to be prepared to put their neck on the line. You look at David Luiz, he comes on with 15 minutes gone and is tying his lace with Arteta trying to talk to him.

Arsenal v Brentford: Friendly
Arteta has a big transfer window ahead of him (Picture: Getty

‘He didn’t even look interested about coming on. I think he was happier when he got sent off. Everything was his fault.

‘Arteta, your defence is everything. Whatever you get budget-wise, you must buy defenders. You need another right-back, two or three central defenders, it is a defensive job that is needed.

‘Once you get that, you can say Arsenal will improve, to what level, perhaps the top four?

‘They will always score goals and have pace in attack but the strategy has to be to sort out the defence and then add to it. The same old I suppose.’

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