Emmanuel Petit: Arsenal Must Strengthen This Summer With Striker A Main Priority

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Emmanuel Petit: Arsenal Must Strengthen This Summer With Striker A Main Priority

Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit shared his thoughts exclusively with Gambling.com regarding the club’s transfer plans this summer.

The Gunners narrowly missed out on the Premier League title in 2023/24 and the football betting sites are offering odds of 2/1 on them finishing top next term.

Petit starred as a holding midfielder for Arsenal between 1997 and 2000, and he has identified a player who could strengthen his former club in the engine room.

Emmanuel Petit Discusses Arsenal's Midfield Targets

“If Arsenal were looking at buying a holding midfielder I would try and get Youssouf Fofana from Monaco, who is playing for the national team at the Euros,” Petit said.

“He is a very good player who can be good for Arsenal. There aren't many players in France, for example, that are a good fit for Arsenal. Arsenal are playing for the Champions League and the Premier League so they need top level players. 

“If you are looking to add a player to the squad, you need to improve on the quality of the team, and at the moment there aren't many suitable options playing in France - there are many interesting players but it’s too soon for a lot of them. Fofana is the only one that comes to mind as a holding midfielder.”  

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Gunners Must Enhance Attacking Options

However, Petit believes Arsenal must prioritise a new striker in this summer’s transfer market.

Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz have both thrived up top for Mikel Arteta’s men, but neither player is a natural centre-forward.

Ivan Toney is one man who has been linked with the Gunners and betting apps give them a 7/4 chance of signing the Brentford star.

“For me the first target is a striker,” Petit added. “They definitely need another option because Havertz has been improving a lot in the past few months but I think they should buy another striker for a different option up front, especially someone who is a physical presence that is good on set pieces and can hold his own. This is the priority. 

“Overall, I would say they need to bring in at least another four players minimum.”   

Petit Praise For Arteta

Petit also shared his disappointment at Arsenal’s near-miss last term, before praising the job that Arteta has done at the Emirates Stadium.

“They improved from the previous season, and it was very close in the end,” the Frenchman said. “It reminds me of 1999 when we lost the Premier League in the last game of the season against Manchester United. 

“I am a huge fan of Mikel Arteta and the work they’ve done in the past four or five years. This team has been improving individually and collectively so much and they look so happy together on the pitch. 

“For me, this is the most important thing. Happiness, confidence, ambitions are back at the club and they have a DNA as well so I am very confident in them moving forward. 

“Who they are going to bring in the transfer window, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t sell many players as they have the spine of the team now, they just need quality in certain areas, like pieces in a puzzle.

“I am very confident in Arteta. I am so glad he is staying at the club as there was some speculation last season that other clubs are interested as he is a young manager and is improving with each season. 

“However, when you play well, when you fight for big titles, at the end of the day, you need to win something. The last two years they came very close to doing that so if this happens again next season that could be very difficult for the players to understand the situation.” 

Arsenal will kick off the 2024/25 Premier League campaign against Wolves, before a trip to Aston Villa the following weekend in what we believe to be the sixth toughest start to the campaign based on last season's league positions. 

The Gunners are scheduled to face reigning champions Manchester City on September 21.

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