Former Arsenal striker John Hartson believes that Arsene Wenger is in dire need of a defensive midfielder and claims that Sami Khedira or Javi Martinez would fit the bill.
The Gunners’ defence came under intense scrutiny last week after losing points from winning positions against both Anderlecht – who clawed back a three-goal deficit – and Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Swansea City.
While Hartson, who briefly played under Wenger in North London, claims that his former manager lacks “commanding central defenders”, the Welshman does believe that their back-four needs more protection.
Mikel Arteta, 32, and 30-year-old Mathieu Flamini are the only two defensive midfielders in the first-team squad.
“I feel teams get at Arsenal too easily at the back,” he told Goal.com “Chelsea have two commanding central defenders but Arsenal have none.
“A defensive midfield player should offer protection. I like Mikel Arteta but he doesn’t have the presence, while Abou Diaby can’t string matches together.
“I see Calum Chambers eventually playing there but the summer buy from Southampton is needed elsewhere just now.
“Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira has been linked and, although it would cost them £40 million to get his signature, Arsenal have the money and can’t afford not to spend it. If they can’t get him, Javi Martinez at Bayern Munich would fit the bill.”
The 27-year-old Khedira, whose Real Madrid contract expires in the summer, is yet to start a La Liga outing for the club this season, while Bayern Munich’s Martinez is currently sidelined by cruciate ligament damage.
Although Khedira would not cost £40 million, it is difficult to argue with Hartson’s overall sentiment on the matter.