- Arsenal given transfer advice to pursue Southampton ace Mario Lemina
- Crooks believes that the Gabon international is an ideal addition for the Gunners
- Problems still exist for Wenger in defence and midfield to add balance to his side
- READ MORE: BBC Premier League team of week: Arsenal dominate in attack, Liverpool magic man gets nod
Arsenal have a potent attack at Arsene Wenger’s disposal, but BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has identified a player who can help balance the side.
While they now boast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil in the final third, the Gunners have had a problem keeping goals out this season.
That has led to them having the joint-worst defensive record of the top eight sides in the Premier League table, conceding 35 goals in 26 games.
There is a sense of an imbalance in the current side, with more defensive solidity needed not only in the backline but also in midfield to provide that protection and presence.
Crooks believes that Southampton ace Mario Lemina is the ideal solution to Arsenal’s problem, as seen in his quotes below.
“This lad is playing for the wrong team,” he wrote in his BBC column. “Seriously. Mario Lemina is an Arsenal player if ever I have seen one.
“For far too long in my opinion, Arsene Wenger has faffed around with the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin. Wenger should have invested in Lemina during the summer and got in there well before Southampton did.”
The 24-year-old was unable to entirely cement his place in the Juventus starting line-up during a two-year stint in Turin, but he has emerged as a key figure for the Saints this season.
With his energy, combativeness, tenacity, ability to go box-to-box and technical quality as well as his versatility, Lemina would be a smart addition to any side.
However, whether or not he would showcase these strengths at the highest level if given another opportunity remains up for debate. What is clearer though is that Wenger will surely prioritise his backline and defensive midfield options in the summer given his attack looks as strong as it can possibly be now having added Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang in January.