Arsenal Invincible Robert Pires believes Mikel Arteta should be targeting an English defender in the January transfer window.
The Gunners endured a disastrous start to the campaign after losing their first three games, but have since bounced back to sit fifth in the Premier League table.
Those opening defeats sparked a revival in the club that saw Arteta’s men go on a tear of eight wins in 10, drawing the other two, and moving from the foot of the table to just one place outside the Champions League qualification places.
Their unbeaten run was finally thwarted at the weekend as title-chasing Liverpool executed a 4-0 rout at Anfield, though, despite that comprehensive thrashing, the north Londoners remain just three points below fourth-placed West Ham.
December will prove a decisive month in Arsenal’s season, with two proverbial six-pointers against fellow top-four aspirants Manchester United and West Ham on the horizon, and if they’re still fighting to secure Champions League football after that, Pires has identified the type of player they should be targeting in the winter window.
Pires said: “It is difficult but in January if Arsenal can spend money maybe on a defender because I think our midfield and strikers are very good players.
“In my opinion sign English players because when you play in the Premier League, you need a player like this.
“For example, in my time I played with Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown, Ashely Cole and this is the base for your team. They need to spend the money on a defender in my opinion, English.”
Perennial top-four finishers under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have now endured a five-season absence from the Champions League, and Pires believes a return to Europe’s premier knockout tournament is vital for the club’s aspirations of pushing on.
When asked if Arsenal can make the top four this term, Pires responded: “I hope, I wish, because this is my club. I know for Mikel Arteta it’s not easy but they need to, with Edu, rebuild the team.
“I know they spent a lot of money during the transfer window, so I believe always in this club. They need to fight. That is the most important thing until the end, but the players need to fight and keep the spirit until the end with Arteta.”