With Arsenal not getting anywhere close to the levels expected of them last season, the 2021/22 Premier League campaign is vital for Mikel Arteta, and a former Gunners legend has tipped a Portuguese ace as a perfect No.8 for the system that the Spaniard wants to play.
Michael Thomas knows just what’s required to be a success in Arsenal’s midfield, so is better qualified than most to speak about the issue.
Clearly, the Gunners need a player that’s always on the front foot and has drive and energy, with Thomas believing that Renato Sanches is just the man.
“Renato Sanches I thought was excellent for Portugal. He brings real energy and breaks the lines with his driving runs,” he told CaughtOffside.
“Having him as an 8 in the Arsenal team would bring great balance, but I am aware of his injury record.”
Whilst Thomas can see the merits of others that have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, it’s Sanches that he sees as the best fit.
“Pedri was another exciting player, amazing technical ability and doesn’t waste a ball. Then theres Locatelli, box to box, shows real energy and clearly has an eye for goal,” he continued.
“Ruben Neves is a really good technical operator with great experience already in the English game. He is very comfortable on the ball and that is how Arteta likes to play so he would be a really good fit.
“For me, we need a bit more energy around the middle which is why I like Elneny in there at times, but Renato or Bissouma would be a more ideal choice.
“The project that Arteta and Edu are trying to build at Arsenal is clearly exciting for the players and that is what would be the biggest selling point.”
Arsenal open their Premier League campaign in four weeks time, so Arteta doesn’t have long to sign new players and have them up to speed.