The Gunners’ boss was speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw against Manchester City in the Premier League and his comments also come just a fortnight after the summer transfer window, where the North London club were heavily linked with the signing of a defensive midfielder.
The French manager has suggested that he is satisfied with his new recruitment’s, but feels they could have done a little more by signing a physical midfielder. He said:
I think it’s good recruitment, we took Debuchy to replace Sagna and three young players, including Chambers, promising, Welbeck and Sanchez.
On the whole I am very satisfied. We might be able to do a little more, people say that we lack a physical presence in midfield, one profile at a Vieira or Petit, it’s true that this is what we need.
Vieira and Petit were at the heartbeat of successful Arsenal sides that won Premier League titles both before and after the millennium. But, once Vieira left the Emirates Stadium in 2005, the Gunners never truly managed to replace the French powerhouse and challenge once again for the title.
The Gunners started the game against City with French midfielder Mathieu Flamini in the defensive midfield position, but against better opposition he gets exposed which was the case against City too. Flamini is a decent player, but nobody could ever claim that he is world-class and it was quite evident last season that was what Arsenal needed to strengthen.
The North London club were linked with a lot players in that position, with Portuguese international William Carvalho a name that was mooted as the most possible acquisition throughout the summer, however a deal never materialised. Wenger was left with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Flamini and Jack Wilshere, who was believed to be earmarked as the Frenchman’s first choice defensive midfielder. However, as Wilshere proved on Saturday he is far more effective when allowed to get forward.
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The lack of a quality defensive midfielder this season could mean the difference for the Gunners this season and if Arsenal fail to challenge for the Premier League title this season, then the question will be asked as to why they did not strengthen in the defensive midfield position in the summer.
Have Arsenal made a mistake by not signing a defensive midfielder? Share your thoughts in the comments below.