Legendary Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes the Gunners should be looking to sign Youri Tielemans or Wilfred Ndidi ahead of their Leicester City teammate James Maddison.
Mikel Arteta is eager to sign Maddison this summer but Leicester are under no pressure to sell one of their prized assets.
With the attacking midfielder’s stock high after an impressive 2020-21 campaign, it is thought a bid of at least £70m would be needed to even consider doing business.
Arsenal’s season got off to a poor start after they were stunned 2-0 by newly-promoted Brentford on Friday.
Based on that night’s evidence, Keown believes Arteta should be focusing on bringing in a player who can provide some much needed ‘steel’ to the Arsenal midfield, rather than focusing on attacking areas.
And Keown named Belgium international Tielemans, linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, as one option, alongside Ndidi.
“The missing ingredient for Arsenal (against Brentford) was steel so I’m not sure Maddison is the player we should be going for,”Keown told Stadium Astro.
‘If I am going to Leicester, I’m going for Tielemans or Ndidi, I’m not going for Maddison because Arsenal need that type of player first.
“You have to build that structure to the team. They have [Emile] Smith Rowe, they have that creativity.
“You just want [Alexandre] Lacazette and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang back again. But I think the base of that team, we had a young debutant [Albert Sambi Lokonga] playing there.
“But I’m looking at that as an area where Arsenal should be buying an international player.
“If you really want to make it happen, you have to be able to dictate games in that midfield and Arsenal at the moment, it is an area that really concerns me.”
The Gunners will hope to bounce back from the shock defeat to Brentford when they host Chelsea in their next league game.