Arsenal need to prioritise signing a central defender, says Sol Campbell
CAPE TOWN – Former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has advised Mikel Arteta to prioritise signing a central defender and then building the squad around him.
Defending has been Arsenal’s achilles heel in recent years, and players such as David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Shkodran Mustafi have been a disaster at times during the season.
Campbell, who was at the heart of the club when they achieved their last league title in an unbeaten season in 2004, believes the heart of defence should be the area Arteta prioritises on during the off season.
“Look what Liverpool did, you know Virgil van Dijk. For me, could I see Arsenal spending that type of money? Sometimes it does take that type of money if a player is nailed on and you’ve got to get him and he can actually start to change the outlook of your team, especially from the back,” said Campbell.
“It might take something like that, they don’t mind buying Nicolas Pepe and that kind of big money up front. But you’ve got to realise that sometimes you need to catch up with the rest of the guys.
“Sometimes when the players does come available and you really think, ‘This guy can really change it’, and you’ve looked at all the scenarios, you might have to dip in the pocket and buy someone big at the back to take that on and then you build around him.
“But you’ve got to go for it. Going for it at the front, paying big money for front guys, but don’t underestimate getting quality defenders to hold that back line together.”