Arsenal under Arteta
There have been some clear signs of progress since Mikel Arteta took the reins at Arsenal.
FA Cup and Community Shield wins inside his first year as manager were big plusses.
There has been a clear focus on youth, with players such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe thriving under the Spaniard.
The Gunners have also cleared out a lot of deadwood from their squad, such as Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis.
And though Arsenal could still perhaps win the Europa League this term, there league position does indicate that they are nowhere close to being the finished article.
Where Arsenal should strengthen
Now Michael Thomas – who lined out for Arsenal between 1984 and 1991 – has been discussing the areas in which the north Londoners should look to strengthen.
Thomas believes that Arsenal should improve at right-back, name dropping Inter Milan’s Achraf Hakimi, who, whilst a solid player, is generally more suited to a back-five, which Arsenal don’t really use anymore:
“There are a few areas. But it can all depend on the finish to the season and whether they qualify for Europe or not.
“I think a right-back is needed and I am liking the links with [Achraf] Hakimi at Inter. I saw him at Dortmund and thought this guy has an engine with some quality.”
Thomas then urged his former side to sign some cover for Kieran Tierney and a partner for Thomas Partey:
“Cover at left-back is essential. [Kieran] Tierney is fantastic and seems to only be getting better, but someone with experience who can still offer something, like [Ryan] Bertrand, would be good in there.
“[Yves] Bissouma of Brighton would be my pick for a partner to Thomas Partey in central midfield. Both are solid, can use the ball well and are 90-minute players.”
And finally, the former midfielder urged Arsenal to keep hold of Martin Odegaard:
“Finally, keep [Martin] Odegaard! He has great vision and works extremely well.”
Quotes via Goal.