Time To Ditch Sokratis and Mustafi - Arsenal Need To Sign This Premier League Star If The Gunners Want To Return To Former Glories
Familiar Arsenal failings were on display during the course of their 1-1 draw against Tottenham in Saturday's North London derby and it is clear which area of the pitch needs reinforcing when the transfer window reopens this summer.
It is no coincidence that Unai Emery's men are the only team in the Premier League yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season - the Gunners have conceded 27 goals in 14 matches on the road this term - and a new centre back is desperately needed.
Shkodran Mustafi was again at fault for a goal as Harry Kane scored a controversial equaliser from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by the Arsenal defender and Gunners fans were quick to criticise the German. The 26-year-old is in his third season in the Premier League and he doesn't seem to be learning.
In better news, Sokratis Papasthapoulos produced arguably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt but the jury is still out on a Greek defender who turns 31 this summer. In truth, it is difficult to imagine Arsenal returning to former glories with Sokratis at the heart of their defence.
And that is where the issue lies, they need to invest in players with Premier League experience who can help take them to the next level.
Club captain, Laurent Koscielny, has slowed in recent times as he continues to feel his way back after an Achilles tendon injury disrupted the start of his season. The French star is 33 years old now and is a crucial part of the squad, although it is a big ask for him to produce the goods on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Rob Holding's absence is being keenly felt following his fine start to the campaign and the 23-year-old cannot return from his season-ending knee injury soon enough.
Holding is a player for the future at The Emirates and the Gunners should be planning for the coming years by signing a player with masses of potential.
Bournemouth's Nathan Ake fits the bill perfectly. A ball-playing centre-back with superb positional sense, the Dutchman holds a flimsy Bournemouth defence together and he deserves another chance to perform at a bigger club.
The 24-year-old started out at Chelsea before learning his trade during loan spells with Reading, Watford and Bournemouth, where he moved permanently for £20m in June 2017. Ake was named the Bournemouth supporters' player of the season last term and can now boast 104 games worth of experience in the Premier League.
Ake would be an ideal signing for Arsenal as they look to resolve the familiar defensive failings.