Ray Parlour: Who Arsenal need in the summer transfer window
Ray Parlour discusses Arsenal's summer transfer plans as Arsene Wenger looks to transform his side into title contenders
Ray Parlour believes that Arsenal need to sign a holding midfielder during the summer transfer window if they are to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for Morgan Schneiderlin before the France international completed a transfer to Manchester United earlier this week.
Arsenal have also been linked with a number of other midfielders in recent weeks, including the likes of Arturo Vidal.
Former Gunners star Parlour says believes that the north London side could do with strengthening their defensive midfield options ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin last season.
Arsenal have a very competitive midfield at the moment and that’s very healthy
“Arsenal need a central midfielder who’s going to be sitting in front of the back four,” said Parlour, speaking on behalf of Carlsberg, the Official Beer of the Premier League.
“Schneiderlin would have been very good. Are there players in that sort of mould out there that Arsene Wenger can bring in to do that job? Or will he look at Santi Cazorla like he did at Manchester City away last season… can Jack Wilshere do that job?
“They have a very competitive midfield at the moment and it’s very healthy to have that in the team. But Wenger’s the manager and the one to decide whether they need that extra midfielder. He’s the one who trains with these guys every day and knows if someone can do the job.”
Asked about who he would sign if it were up to him, Parlour continued: “People say Vidal, but it looks like he’s going to Bayern Munich.
“I watched [William] Carvalho in the Under-21 Championship – he has a big presence, someone in that mould might be good moving forward.
“But again, they’re very hard to find, these top quality players – like Patrick Vieira when I played. That’s why the scouting system has to be very good and quick in getting into the reckoning and saying they’re the player we need.”
Parlour, who scored 22 goals in more than 330 Premier League games for Arsenal between 1992 and 2004, also feels that the Gunners could do with another central defender to add competition for the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Kosicelny.
He said: “In an ideal world, yes [Arsenal would sign another defender]. If you can get a good, top-class centre-half in the mould of Tony Adams, which is very hard to find, that would be ideal.
“But is there a player out there available who can fit straight into the team and be a leader and a great centre-half, who knows?”
Ray Parlour and the Carlsberg Fan Squad are all about making football better for fans. That means making sure stadiums are filled with real supporters in the 2015-16 season. Follow @CarlsbergFooty to find out how you can win tickets from the Official Beer of the Premier League