Martin Keown tells Mikel Arteta to sign ‘four or five quality players’ for Arsenal this summer

Martin Keown says Mikel Arteta needs to bolster his Arsenal squad
Martin Keown says Mikel Arteta needs to bolster his Arsenal squad (Picture: BT Sport)

Martin Keown has urged Mikel Arteta to sign ‘four or five quality players’ for Arsenal this summer to help the club challenge for trophies.

Arteta’s Arsenal have largely struggled this season and are only tenth in the Premier League table – 12 points adrift of the top-four places – ahead of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.

Gunners boss Arteta has offloaded a number of players this year – with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac all leaving north London – but Keown says he must now bolster his squad with a number of ‘top-drawer’ signings.

‘That first big summer under Arsene when he brought in Marc Overmas, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Nicolas Anelka made a massive difference,’ Keown told The Sun.

‘Those arrivals gave a real boost to the core group of players who were already there and had won trophies in the past.

‘Now we are looking at a parallel situation and this summer is going to be huge because they’ve got a lot of work to do to bring in the calibre of player they need to make the team competitive in the Premier League again.

‘Ten senior players have left the club this season which has been quite a turnaround.

‘He’s cleared out a lot of baggage from the Wenger and Unai Emery eras because Ozil, Mustafi and Sokratis have gone and Toreira, Guendouzi and Kolasinac have gone out on loan.

‘That’s a lot for a young manager to take on board and he’s been quite direct in making those big decisions.

‘But now he’s freed up the space in his squad and he can’t make any mistakes in the transfer market. He needs to bring in four of five this summer and the quality of player has to be absolutely top-drawer.’

Arsenal welcome rivals Tottenham to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon and Keown cannot remember a ‘more important’ north London derby.

While the Gunners are currently down in tenth, Spurs are also faltering in seventh, with both teams potentially having to win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

‘I don’t know if I can remember a more important derby game,’ Arsenal legend Keown added.

‘Nobody expected Arsenal to be this low because they are the third most successful club in England and steeped in history.

‘There has to be a level of patience with Arteta and they have to back him in the summer to let him put more pieces into the jigsaw puzzle.

‘But they won’t wait forever because there are too many good teams ahead of them and I can’t see them making it into the top four this season.

‘They are seven points behind Spurs so this is a huge part of the season for them and they have got to win these games.

‘Arteta is in a results business and when you lose to Spurs the fans are on your back so this weekend it’s all about beating the rivals to keep people on board and look to the future.’

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