Arsenal legend Lauren has spoken about his old club’s top four hopes this season, as he expects Mikel Arteta’s side will hold on and clinch that all-important Champions League place.
The former Gunners right-back, a member of the club’s famous 2003/04 Invincibles side, is optimistic about his old side’s chances, though he also made it clear that sorting out the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situation would be important to help make a top four finish happen.
Aubameyang has fallen out of favour with Arteta, with the manager recently stripping the Gabon international of the captaincy for disciplinary reasons.
It seems vital that Arsenal address this by bringing in a top signing up front as soon as possible, with Lauren calling for this difficult saga to be resolved.
Lauren, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Tottenham v Arsenal, said: “After a slow start, the team are now in a Champions League position, which is a testament to the job Arteta and his players have done over the past few months. Their season is going well; I just hope it continues that way. I believe they’ll qualify for next year’s Champions League.”
He added: “If Arsenal want to increase their chances of securing a Champions League spot this season – something I believe is very important for the club – then the striker situation needs addressing.
“Either we resolve the situation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or we bring someone in who can get 10-12 goals between now and the end of the season. First of all, I think it’s important to talk with Aubameyang, to try and get him back on board. If the club cannot resolve that issue, then we should be looking at another target in this transfer window, just to be sure that there is enough depth and quality at that end of the pitch.
“The midfield players have been adding goals, but they need another striker to help guarantee that Champions League place. ”
Arsenal fans will surely agree with this take, with a new striker likely to make all the difference, not just for this season, but for years to come.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, another former Arsenal star in Michael Thomas told us that Dusan Vlahovic would be the ideal signing to strengthen the team’s attack.
“It will cost a lot of money to get Vlahovic, but this is the type of player Arsenal need to be buying in all areas to start challenging the bigger teams again,” Thomas told CaughtOffside.
“He looks like a strong mobile centre forward; excellent at trapping the ball with his first touch and bringing others into play, but then wants to follow that up and score the goal at the end of the move.
“He’s a bit of a bully up front, which is great to see, as the traditional number 9 is dying out. But he also has a wand of a left foot.
“He’s still very young and will only get better, so it looks like it would be a really good investment for the club.”