Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has urged Mikel Arteta to consider moving on from Mesut Ozil and look to swoop for Man Utd transfer target Jack Grealish.
Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, the Gunners had crashed out of the Europa League and were still playing catch up in the battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League while remaining in contention for the FA Cup.
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Things have certainly improved under Arteta in terms of performances and results, but ultimately more is perhaps needed in the transfer market to help them bridge that gap to their rivals above them.
Campbell believes that it could be time to move on from Ozil and look for fresh legs in that department to help Arsenal compete. He has singled out Grealish as a potential target, with the Metro noting that the Aston Villa captain has been linked with a £70m move to rivals Manchester United.
Ozil has managed just one goal and three assists in 23 outings this season with his current contract set to expire in 2021.
In contrast, Grealish has bagged nine goals and eight assists in 31 appearances across all competitions, and with youth on his side too, it could be a sensible plan for Arsenal.
“Arsenal need an all-rounder in midfield, Arsenal need someone in the middle of the pitch who not only can create, he can break the play up, but he’s got legs, we miss that. We’ve been a strong spine for years,” Campbell told the Metro. “There was talk of should we go for Jack Grealish or James Maddison, these type of guys would improve Arsenal.
“No disrespect to Mesut Ozil, but Ozil is on the wrong side of his Arsenal career with a year left on his contract after this. But we need someone who’s going to be in there with legs, we need creativity, and someone that when the games not going particularly well, he can get stuck in and knuckle down as well.
“We’re being shown up by the likes of Sheffield United, Chris Wilder who has done a fantastic job there, they haven’t got the quality that Arsenal have but they’re above us in the league. Why? Because they’ve got a system and they fight, grab and battle, and they’ve got some quality there as well. If we can’t match these teams, we don’t deserve to be up there.”
Time will tell if that’s something Arteta will consider this summer, but it’s perhaps easier said than done to offload Ozil given his reported wages, while time will tell if Grealish has his sights set on an exit from Villa even if they stay up, and if he has a preference for United already.