Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes new manager Unai Emery needs a player like Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti in his Gunners side.
The Spaniard was unveiled as the new Arsenal manager yesterday, replacing the legendary Arsene Wenger after he called time on his 22 years at the club at the end of the season.
Emery himself was available after just leaving PSG, where he enjoyed a decent level of success despite some question-marks over how his time in France makes him suitable for Arsenal.
Still, Keown has offered some tips to the new man in charge and believes signing a midfield battler like Verratti could be crucial to making things tick at the Emirates Stadium.
‘Emery inherits a side that can do damage in the final third but lacks a steeliness and a nastiness, particularly away from home. If he can restore these ingredients, then Arsenal can at least challenge in the Premier League’ Keown told the Daily Mail.
‘The fans want to see a team that can dig in, battle and scrap. Emery needs to bring in a player like Marco Verratti, who he managed at Paris Saint-Germain, to instil those qualities in midfield.’
It is true that Arsenal have lacked a truly world class midfielder for some time, with the likes of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny not looking anywhere near the required standard at the moment.
Verratti or someone similar would surely be a dream signing for Arsenal, but it remains to be seen if the club will make major changes to the playing staff after the culture shock of bringing in a new and very different kind of manager from Wenger.